Posts Tagged teen heroin addiction
The state of Ohio is alarmed on the increasing number of heroin users in the area, as they keep getting younger. Children as young as 13 years old are said to be experimenting with heroin. The drug becomes a cheaper substitute for painkillers and it’s relatively more accessible compared to prescription medications.
According to the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, heroin abuse increased in the last six months. From the bi-annual survey of drug users and counselors, the main reasons why heroin has climbed the top of the most abused substances are its cheap cost and easy access.
In 2010, Ohio registered a record-breaking 338 deaths that were all heroin-related.
Trisha Saunders, head of The Recovery Center in Lancaster, confirmed that they are handling 360 cases with patients addicted to painkillers or heroin. “They say, ‘I never thought I’d switch from taking a pill to putting a needle in my arm.”
In Toledo, heroin users start their habit at the tender age of 13. This is supported by Ohio’s biggest substance abuse treatment facility, Maryhaven in Columbus, with 132 patients under the age of 18 hooked on heroin or painkillers.
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services department director Orman Hall clarified that the state is doing its best to address the problem. They are targeting to lessen heroin users by implementing tighter regulations on dispensing prescription painkillers as heroin addiction is said to start with the said medications.
Heroin availability is not only affecting Ohio. Chicago and Lake County in Northern Indiana are also hit with the epidemic based on the 2011 National Drug Intelligence report.
It is always unfortunate to see ideally promising young people waste away – or have their lives brutally cut short – because of drug abuse. This is why governments and communities are constantly developing means of fighting it, especially among the youth.
A report on RGJ.com shares the efforts of the city of Reno, Nevada, in combating the abuse of a specific illicit substance: heroin. Teens and young adults, according to city authorities, do not seem to realize the danger of using heroin, and how addictive the substance is.
One proof of this is the fact that the rate of heroin use among young people in the city has increased significantly. According to Dave Evans, Reno Deputy Police Chief, arrests for people under the age of 20 increased five times between 2006 and 2009. Heroin-related arrests went up from 3 percent in 2006, to 18 percent in 2009.
Reno Mayor Bob Cashell described the heroin of today as different: “We’re not talking about the heroin of the ’70s… Today’s heroin is more pure, and it’s cheap. Kids are buying it with their lunch money.” A balloon of heroin, according to narcotics detectives, costs $10 or thereabouts on the street.
The mayor, the Reno Police, and the school district have joined forces with Join Together Northern Nevada in a public awareness campaign regarding heroin abuse. They are aiming to raise $25,000 for a TV ad as part of the campaign. David Quint, executive director for Join Together, shared that the goal of the campaign is to provide parents and young people with tools as well as warning signs, in the hope that knowledge will prevent more young people from succumbing, and losing their lives, to heroin addiction.