Adolescent Heroin Addiction – What to do When You Feel Like the Sky is Falling
Adolescent heroin addiction takes over every aspect of their life including their personality, mental and physical well-being. Because the signals of adolescent heroin use are so widespread, it’s often difficult for a parent to recognize it until their teen has become a heroin addict.
Learning that the child you’ve raised since birth is now strung out on heroin, one of the most insidious and addictive drugs that exist is devastating to any caring parent. One simple sentence, “your child is a heroin addict,” can bring your world crashing down around you in an instant.
How you react to the news goes a long way in how fast the addiction can be reversed. Shunning and rejecting the child or treating them like a criminal will do little to help them in their time of need. Screaming, cursing and threatening only makes the problem worse.
Parents first need to know that adolescent heroin addiction is a major problem across the United States. A recent CBS News report found that nearly two million adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 nationwide currently need treatment for a substance abuse problem.
The problem grows even sadder when it is estimated only about 150,000 of these young addicts get the professional help they need to detox from the drug.
Why are so Many Young People Addicted to Heroin?
1. Easy to get
Unfortunately, the illegal drug business is booming. Heroin and other drugs are easy to get in every village, town and city across the country.
2. Teens are curious by nature
Young people are more open to experimentation than mature adults. The “Just Say No” slogan crafted back in the Ronald Reagan era too often falls on deaf ears.
3. Teens Unaware of Consequence of Drug Usage
Many first-time adolescent users of heroin are unaware that trying it just once can lead to drug addiction. There is very little chance of experimenting with heroin one time and then walking away without wanting to come back for more.
4. Cultural Changes
Our society still abhors the use of heroin and will probably always do so. What has changed in recent years is the acceptance of marijuana as both a medical and recreation-use substance that is now being legally grown and sold in a growing number of states. Marijuana is considered a “gateway” drug by many medical professionals that can eventually lead to heroin use and addiction.
What Parents Should do if their Child is Addicted to Heroin
Be willing and determined to do whatever it takes
In order for you to help your child to turn their life around and get off heroin, you need to be firm and determined. It might mean imparting some tough love, but the life of your child is at stake. Treat your child with kindness, love, and respect during these troubling times and you’ll have a greater chance of success of helping them kick the heroin habit.
Educate yourselves about heroin
Heroin is an intensely addictive drug that comes in either a powder form or as a thick, tar-like substance called black tar heroin. It is considered the most harmful drug and the hardest to quit right alongside meth. Understand that heroin is not like marijuana or coke. Those drug habits are fairly easy to kick. Heroin is the devil drug. Once it gets its claws into your children, it’s extremely difficult to quit without proper professional and parental help.
Learn how most adolescent addicts quit heroin
Here are the most common heroin detox methods for young people:
1 – Quit heroin cold turkey assisted with OTC meds.
2 – Quit warm turkey with the help of pharmaceuticals drugs.
3 – Quit with the assistance of Methadone or Suboxone.
4 – Quit heroin addiction by entering a drug rehabilitation center that caters to adolescent addicts.
Methods 1 & 2 above are very painful, extremely difficult to stick to, and require demanding self-control.
Method 3, the use of Methadone or Suboxone as heroin substitutes, is less painful and has a better success record than the cold turkey method.
Method 4, enrolling in a drug rehabilitation facility like the Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center, has the highest success rate of the four treatment options listed. Facilities like Hillcrest are designed to provide inpatient, teen-only mental and behavioral health and addiction rehab services to assist your child in getting their life back.