When a parent discovers that their child is taking drugs, they normally do not know what to make of it and reactions vary. Feelings of anger, betrayal, fear, helplessness and guilt make it harder for a parent to handle the matter objectively.
CDC puts the number of teens using heroin at around 3%, with the number being feared to be higher. A worrying trend is the increasing cases of heroin use in teens from the middle class and living in the suburbs. This trend has been attributed to the abuse of prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Xanax and Vicodin.
There are a number of reasons why teens turn to heroin. Obvious reasons include ease of access to heroin and peer pressure. Subtler reasons are usually psychological, emotional or social such as a need to fit in, problems at home and high-risk taking behavior that comes with adolescence.
The abuse of prescription drugs is one of the leading reasons for the increasing heroin use in teens. They have been identified as gateway drugs to heroin use in teens. Prescription painkillers are made from opiates, and teens are able to access the prescription drugs easily from home or their friends.
The need for a stronger high at a lower cost and the fact that prescription drugs contain opiates makes some of the teens turn to heroin. Prescription drugs are more expensive than heroin for attaining the same high and more accessible to teen, thus the teen starts using heroin.
Another leading cause of heroin use in teens is for recreation, peer pressure and emotional distress. Given that the number of 7-12 years old using heroin has been on the increase, the chances of a teen using heroin have also increased. This is due to peer pressure and wanting to fit it, or simply out of boredom and flirting with danger and terming is as fun. Problems at home or school makes it easier for a kid to get into the wrong company and start using heroin or to seek it out.
Given that heroin use in teens is on the rise, it is advisable for a parent to ensure that their child is not abusing heroin or other substances. In case a parent fears that their child is using, it is imperative that they seek help from professionals, such as Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers.