Kids and young adults are targetted for heroin addiction.

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Kids and young adults are targetted for heroin addiction.

by Ned Wicker


Heroin addiction is something we used to associate with “skid row” and the downtrodden portion of American society. They are junkies and no accounts. They use dirty needles and contract hepatitis and HIV/Aids. They commit crimes and wind up either dead or in jail.

That’s the way we used to see heroin users. But what if one of those heroin users isn’t living in squallier, or what if they carry a high grade point average, or what if they are living in the bedroom next to yours?

Heroin isn’t confined to the dirty streets of abandoned urban areas, it is in suburbia, in our schools and readily available. The target audience gets younger as the years advance. The internet, movies and television, and especially music bring it forward every day. That trend has not gone unnoticed.

“Although heroin abuse has trended downward during the past several years, its prevalence is still higher than in the early 1990s,” said Nora D. Volkov, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“These relatively high rates of abuse, especially among school-age youth, and the glamorization of heroin in music and films make it imperative that the public has the latest scientific information on this topic. Heroin also is increasing in purity and decreasing in price, which makes it an attractive option for young people.”

Parents are so often in denial about this, because surely THEIR child would never stoop to such a tragic and disgusting low. But kids rebel, they experiment. They have no idea what they are getting into and without the proper knowledge and experience in life, they make bad decisions.

They are the “good” kids, the social outcasts and even the athletes. Heroin addiction is an equal opportunity killer.

It is happy to destroy any life if given the opportunity, and clueless parents are all too welcome in this modern story of destruction and despair. Even when faced with evidence that something has gone wrong in their child’s life, there are parents, well to do parents, who simply deny that anything is wrong.

Heroin addiction is treatable. In the last 10 years new opiate addiction treatment programs have been made available. New pharmacological interventions have been developed, to go along with behavioral therapies. Buprenorphine (suboxone), approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, is an alternative to methadone.

The new therapy offers greater help in reducing cravings for the opiate ad it also helps to make withdrawal a little easier. But, if parents are looking in the other direction, intentionally or otherwise, there is no treatment and the disease progresses.

Heroin dealers move in the shadows

Those who would distribute heroin to young people are counting on parents to help them move unnoticed in the shadows. Mom is a professional person with strong community ties. Dad is likewise a successful businessman and does not want the stain of something unseemly to get in the way of his social standing.

They are easily deceived because they are myopic. They don’t talk to their kids about things that really matter; they instead talk about status and career.

In order to succeed in business, companies, entrepreneurs and drug dealers need to find new markets. Those who are older, wiser and more educated are less susceptible to making foolish decisions in the name of experimentation or peer pressure.

Take down the weak!

Think of it this way, if a pride of lionesses is out on a hunt, do they take down the biggest and fastest wildebeest? No, they target the young ones, the less experienced. Children in high school and middle school are prime targets.

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