According to Oprah, the answer to that question is a sad and resounding “yes.” Kids across America are being tricked into using heroin and inadvertently developing deadly addictions as a result.
It seems unbelievable. How could it happen? Is someone slipping it into an unsuspecting teen’s drink? Are they lacing candy with it?
Experimentation Gone Wrong
Most often, it seems that kids who are looking to experiment with one drug or another are being told that the drug they are given is one thing when it’s actually heroin. One white powder looks like another when you’re uninitiated. In fact, some say that they received heroin when they were looking for cocaine—and didn’t realize the difference despite the fact that the effects of heroin are strikingly different than the effects caused by cocaine use.
A kid with little experience with illicit substances wouldn’t necessarily know what it is that he is taking, and others may take advantage of that naiveté for a number of different reasons. Someone addicted to heroin may trick a teen into using heroin so that he can have someone who will use the drug with him. A dealer may give it to an unsuspecting teen in the hope of getting that person hooked so that he has a new customer.
An Increasing Problem
Unfortunately, this kind of trickery is rarely a one time occurrence. Kids who come back for more can inadvertently develop a heroin addiction due to the deception. The Huffington Post reports that heroin abuse among teens in search of treatment has increased by 80 percent in the last 10 years, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Not all kids who end up addicted to heroin and in need of treatment begin their journey in this way, however. Some take opiate painkillers experimentally and then switch to heroin when they are unable to get more pills. These pills are expensive and heavily regulated and thus hard to come by for teenagers. It’s far easier to find heroin on a regular basis.
Heroin Addiction Is Treatable
Teen boys can get the help they need to beat heroin addiction, no matter how it started, here at Muir Wood. We provide a unique program for boys that helps them learn self-reliance and build self-esteem as well as learn how to make more positive choices at home, with friends, and at school. Call us today for more information.