To most people, heroin addiction brings to mind an image of sickly addicts in a dark downtown alleyway, sharing dirty needles to get their high. Unfortunately, this generalization only caters to a small portion of the heroin epidemic, as the drug continues to infiltrate America’s youth.
Shock & Awe
For many loving parents, raising children in a quiet suburban community seems the perfect way to counter the lure of inner-city drug addiction. But behind the picket fences, cul-de-sacs, and ice cream trucks, families throughout the U.S. are finding that these issues may not be so easily avoidable after all.
Heroin comes from the same family as oxycodone, codeine and morphine. With prescription drug abuse a common suburban trend, many teens find the transition to heroin a natural progression. While prescription pain killers may be easier to locate, the expense associated with an addiction is often more than most teens are able to accommodate. Heroin is able to offer the same type of rush at a price much lower than its prescription brethren, with a heightened ease of availability.
What To Watch For
While most parents would like to believe that their vigilance and determination in keeping a drug-free household is enough, heroin addiction is often an issue that can remain undetected for long periods of time.
Parents are encouraged to trust their instincts. Has their performance or attendance at school recently changed? Are they suddenly associating with a new group of friends? Are their old friends avoiding contact? Have their eating habits recently changed?
Though many of these signs can be viewed as “typical teenage behavior”, it’s important to take note and pay extra attention when something appears “a little off”. Open up a dialogue with your teen in regard to their behaviors, while making point to communicate your love and concern in a calm and collected manner. Threats and accusations will get you nowhere. Listen, breathe, and digest.
The Bottom Line
No family is safe from the ills of heroin abuse. Whether you reside in the slums or a luxury penthouse, drug addiction is an issue that must be confronted head-on in order to protect your loved ones from its grasp.