Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heroin Floods U.S. Teens

Every day, twenty-five hundred teenagers misuse a prescription drug to get high for the first time.

An alarming 50 percent of all teens believe that using prescription medications to get high is much safer than using so-called street drugs, according to Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

Supporting a prescription drug habit can get expensive. That’s why many who become addicted to them turn to a less expensive and easily accessible alternative – heroin.

A recent New York Times article reported that heroin sales are being pushed beyond major cities into America’s suburbs and rural communities.

Law enforcement can do only so much to stem the tide. As New York Times reporter Randal C. Archibold writes, local arrests rarely make a difference. New dealers surface within weeks.

A Drug Enforcement Agency official tells Archibold, “[Arresting dealers] is like sweeping sunshine off the roof.”

That’s why parents need to understand that prevention is the best hope of saving kids from addiction and death. Prevention begins when you and your kids start to talk about drugs.

Resources
Drugs: True Stories
Words Can Work: When Talking About Drugs

Related Issues and Answers columns
Cocaine and addiction
Cocaine’s effect on the body
Crystal meth
Marijuana
Prescription drugs

Related columns for young people

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