An estimated 9.2 million people in the world use heroin and that number is growing. The increase in prescription drug abuse is the leading cause of the rise in heroin addiction. The growing number of young people who start abusing expensive prescription drugs are now switching to heroin which is cheaper and easier to buy – prescription pain pills cost $20-$60, compare that to heroin that costs $3-$10 a bag.
First, young people start off by snorting the drug and within weeks, most are shooting up and in just a month, they are addicted.
A few statistics:
- Almost 90% of teens who are addicted to heroin are white.
- In 2012 heroin deaths doubled in North Carolina to 148.
- Opiates, mostly heroin, account for 18% of the admissions for drug and alcohol treatment in the US.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Behavior changes
- Hyperactivity followed by fatigue
- Irresponsibility at work or school
- Wearing long shirts and pants even during warm weather
- Increased sleeping
- Slurred speech
- Track marks on arms or legs
- Weight loss
- Constant runny nose
- Scabs or bruises due to picking at the skin
These statistics are frightening and the trend is sadly growing. We must continue to educate ourselves and our children of the danger of drug abuse and addiction. Let’s all work together to be vigilant with our youth to spot the symptoms so our children don’t become a statistic.