Teen Heroin Abuse is everywhere says Teen in Rehab
Inspirations for Youth and Families (IYF) interviewed Brittany – one of the teens at our adolescent drug and alcohol rehab. The interview is part of our new series “Teen Heroin Addiction Diaries.” The subject of the discussion was teen heroin abuse. Heroin is a topic Brittany regrettably knows a lot about and everyone especially parents can really benefit from her knowledge.
Here’s the excerpts from the interview about Teen Heroin Abuse
Inspirations: Is heroin easy to find on the street for a teen?
Brittany: Heroin is showing up in all of the streets. It is easier to find than cocaine. It is easier to find than weed. Especially, where I am from in Seattle. And fentanyl is starting to come out. And drug dealers are trying to sell it as China White. So people are taking the same quantities of fentanyl as they would for China White and overdosing.
Inspirations: What is China White?
Brittany: China White is a powdered form of heroin that looks like cocaine.
Just in my high school alone, four kids died from heroin overdoses last year
Brittany, teen at Inspirations for Youth and Families
Inspirations: Why are teens using heroin?
Brittany: Just in my town you can walk around and find seven people who could get heroin for you. The drug dealers are sprinkling it on weed. So when you smoke it you get addicted to it. And when you try to get off of it you get sick. So these kids are going into it thinking they will do it one time. And then they do it three or four days in a row. And all of a sudden they get sicker than ever. So they do it again and it never stops.
Inspirations: How much does heroin cost?
Brittany: Heroin is sold in points. So basically it is $10 a point. And if you buy a bag which is a gram that is between $80 to $100. A key is 1.5 grams. And a ball is three grams. After that it goes into quarter ounce, half ounce, and ounce.
Editors Note: It is important to note that the cost of heroin varies by where you live. Brittany was referring to prices in Seattle. So heroin can be as cheap as $5 in places where the drug is flooded. Generally speaking, prices can vary from about $50 up to $400 per gram (note that these are the extremes, most goes from $100 to $300).
Inspirations: How long can a bag of heroin last?
Brittany: A gram can last two to three weeks depending on your tolerance. You could make a gram last a while if you know how to space it out. But some people who are really hooked can finish it in a few hours.
Inspirations: Have you seen fentanyl on the streets?
Brittany: I haven’t seen fentanyl because we are on the west coast, but I hear it is hitting the east coast pretty hard now. It will probably be coming our way in six months to a year. That is just how long it takes to set up the drug traffic all the way to the west coast.
Editors Note: Fentanyl is a potent, synthetic opioid pain medication. Unbelievably, it is being laced into heroin by drug dealers. Sadly, this deadly combination has killed at least 700 from late 2013 through 2014 according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Remarkably, fentanyl is estimated to have about 80 times the potency of morphine.
Inspirations: Why do drug dealers mix fentanyl in heroin? Are they trying to harm people?
Brittany: Fentanyl and an elephant tranquilizer called carfentanil when mixed in heroin makes it stronger. So drug dealers can sell less of a quantity for a higher profit. It’s all about making money. And they can make as much as $700 for just a gram.
Inspirations: How can teens afford heroin?
Brittany: A lot of teens resort to dealing. Others sell themselves sexually. It is a terrible thing. They steal. People break into homes. Or they steal stuff from their own families. Heroin turns you into a monster.
Inspirations: How much does it cost a teen to use heroin each day?
Brittany: Initially, a teen can buy heroin for $15 and that’s all they need for one day to maintain their high. But if you do that every day it starts to get expensive. Heroin is a completely different drug. Because the addiction is very strong and you need to use it every day.
Inspirations: So drug dealers are willing to take a chance on someones life with fentanyl
Brittany: It is about your money and not you. To them you are a dollar sign.
Inspirations: What does chasing the dragon mean?
Brittany: It is like the first time you ever get high. And you chase that feeling for the rest of the time you are using. And after awhile you build such a tolerance. So you can’t get that high anymore. And you can’t do enough physically to get high.
Nine times out of ten parents are not going to know there teens are on heroin. Because you can hide it so easily.
Inspirations: In many cases people get addicted to heroin after using opiates like OxyContin. Because they can’t afford these pain killers anymore. Now we are seeing teens going straight to heroin. Why is this the case?
Brittany: Friends. It’s always friends and peer pressure. Most people try cocaine or all sorts of things before they actually get to heroin. Not many people just go straight to heroin. It is kind of like the third drug. It’s like you are not getting high enough anymore so you want to get higher. Another reason is heroin is cheap. It is not an expensive drug. And it is a drug that people get hooked to. And get sick when they try to come off of it. So they are always trying to stay on it.
And kids now a days get prescribed pain killers when they shouldn’t be getting them. As a result they get hooked to the pain killers. And the cheaper form of painkillers is heroin.
Inspirations: What is being done to decrease teen heroin abuse?
Brittany: Well, there are needle exchanges and they hand out Narcan. There are parent meetings at the high schools where they teach parents to look for signs that teens are using.
Editors Note: Naloxone’s brand name is Narcan. And is a medication for blocking the effects of opioids like heroin. Especially in an overdose.
Inspirations: Are there signs parents should be aware of to detect teen heroin abuse.
Brittany: Nine times out of ten parents are not going to know there teens are on heroin. Because you can hide it so easily. Like you can blame falling asleep on depression. Or an overload in school work. Even if your teen tells you that they are never going to do heroin. One day they could do that. Especially if they do other things. They are probably going to do that.
Inspirations: Just how bad of people are drug dealers?
Brittany: All they think about is making a bigger profit. And they will push it on you. Also, they will slip China White into cocaine. So that way you will have to keep coming back. Because heroin is so addictive.