While many issues between children, teens and drugs begin with gateway drugs like alcohol and marijuana, many teens face escalating drug use issues that bring them to the harder stuff before you notice it. Teenaged heroin addiction is a serious problem, because once a teen tries heroin for the first time, the likelihood is great that the problem is going to become increasingly severe until serious harm is done. If you suspect that your child may be using drugs, it will benefit you significantly to know what to look for. Often determining what drug the child is addicted to will play an important role in getting the help your teenager needs in order to overcome the problem.
There are a number of different ways that heroin can appear, meaning that what you should look for can essentially vary quite dramatically. Heroin is often found in a white powder form or an off-white powder form. Purer heroin is going to appear brighter white in color, and so you can expect the lower grade stuff to be more egg-like in color. While in the Eastern United States the white-powder form is most common, closer to the west you are more likely going to find a solid substance that is black rather than white. In some circumstances heroin can also found in a dirty brown colored pattern, typically within the Western portion of the United States.
Heroin abuse is not always easy to spot in a teenager, especially one who is going to great lengths to keep the problem well hidden from his or her parents. This does not mean that it will be impossible to spot a heroin abuse problem in your child, however, simply that you have to be both diligent and vigilant in spotting the signs so that you can determine whether or not something is going on.
If your child suddenly begins to wear more long-sleeved shirts than normally, especially on days that do not warrant it, this might be a side that track marks and injection sites are being hidden. If your teenager suddenly seems to be wearing the same clothing every day, not changing, not taking care of their hygiene, then this is a good sign that something is going awry. A child or teen who is suddenly using or abusing heroin may no longer care about personal grooming habits. Their hair may become greasy or they may stop showering all together. They may have odd bruises on the arms, pin-sized pupils, red dots on the hands or the arms, puffiness under the eyes or they may suddenly break out in acne when they’ve never had it before.
A teen who is abusing heroin may seem sluggish or sleepy more than normal. They may appear drunk or under the influence of something, or they may appear sluggish and lethargic. These are all examples of things that you may notice with your teenager when they are dealing with a heroin problem. You may not notice all of them at once, and so it is important for you to be diligent about watching your teen for these types of signs and symptoms. If you see one thing, like bruises on the arms or pin-sized red dots on the hands, then you should start looking for other signs as well but try not to panic until you have enough evidence to go on.
This can be a tricky subject to deal with. Your teen is probably working very hard to keep his or her drug issue a secret. What this means is that you have to find the best possible way to broach the subject without scaring them away or causing them to hide their behavior even more. Your teenaged child needs to know that they can trust you. What this is going to mean is finding a way to approach the subject carefully and cautiously, with love and respect so that they know where you are coming from.
The way that you can do this is by bringing in a specialist, someone who is well versed in intervention techniques that can help with the problem. They can sit down with you and your teen and explain the situation, helping your teen make the right decisions about getting help. Getting your teen help should be your biggest priority right now. Don’t approach the subject in an accusatory or angry manner. Instead what you need to do is help your teen realize that love, care and support are there for him or her as soon as they are ready to ask for help, and then help them make the decisions that they need to make in order to overcome the addiction.