The school bell rings as students file out of classrooms and begin to head towards home, a friend’s house, or an after school activity. While most teenagers go home to watch TV and do homework after class, other teenagers hit the streets searching for their next high. Over the last couple of years, more and more teenagers are using opiate prescription pills to get high. When those run out, many teen addicts turn to using heroin, the cheaper alternative.

People don’t expect teenagers to have access to “hard drugs” like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. However, more and more people including teenagers are using heroin across the country. The varying potency, availability, and low price of heroin means that it’s becoming easier to use. This article chronicles the sharp rise in heroin use in Long Island, New York. It also tells the tale of a teenager who began using heroin when he was only 16 years old. “Chris” describes how he was too scared to inject the drug and had a friend inject it for him. After that, Chris said his usage was five or six bags every time he shot heroin. He began committing felonies to support his substance abuse.

The article also cited some troubling statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the CDC, overdoses have gone up by 45% from 2006 to 2010. The heroin supply has rapidly grown to meet demand and the DEA has reported that heroin seizures at the USA & Mexico border increased by 232% from 2008 to 2012. The article also cites another CDC study which found that deaths caused by heroin for the age group 15 to 24 have increased from 2008 to 2010. Jeff Reynolds, Executive Director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, was quoted as saying “Ten years ago, if you used two to three bags of heroin a day, you were considered a chronic heavy user.  For kids these days, that’s breakfast.”  Reynolds also stated that there is a seven-fold increase in patients going for inpatient treatment over the past 5 years and up to 80% of them were seeking treatment for heroin and opiate addiction.  Reynolds also said many of the users are not the kind of people one might normally associate with drug use. Instead, most heroin users were the cheerleaders, athletes, and straight-A students from stable homes.

Unfortunately, many parents are not aware of the signs of heroin abuse until it’s too late. Many parents are ashamed when their children have an overdose or die from using heroin.  Several parents were quoted in the above article describing the shock they felt when they learned their son or daughter was using heroin. If you believe your son or daughter is using heroin, or prescription opiates, don’t wait to get help. Call us now to learn more about our heroin treatment program.