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How to tell if a teenager is using heroin

There is a drug epidemic in America. In fact, in a report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2012, it was found that nearly 669,000 Americans used heroin within the last year. That is an unacceptably high number, and it does not seem as though it is going down anytime soon. 

Unfortunately, many people start using heroin when they are in their teens. A number of people in their late teens and early 20s start using heroin, and if something is not done immediately, then their lives are being put in danger. Parents who are concerned their high schoolers or college students are using should be aware of the following indicators. 

Physical symptoms

Drastic changes in a teen’s appearance can indicate drug problems. Some of the most common ones associated with heroin include:

  • Persistently itchy skin
  • Chronic vomiting or nausea
  • Constantly being drowsy
  • Trouble having conversations
  • Dry mouth
  • Flushed skin
  • Slowed breathing patterns

Over time, chronic physical problems can develop. These include abscesses and collapsed veins. 

Emotional symptoms

Most parents expect their teens to change behaviorally when they are in high school or college. While it can be normal to an extent, parents should intervene if something seems noticeably wrong. For example, if a teen was normally a model student and is now getting bad grades and cutting class, then drug use could be to blame. Teenagers using heroin may also drop out of their favorite clubs, isolate themselves from everything and act belligerently toward authority figures. 

Interpersonal symptoms

Teens who start using may begin hanging out with different friends. Parents typically have kids they have never seen or heard of before coming over to visit. Additionally, old friendships can deteriorate. Teens using heroin may no longer be able to follow through on commitments. 

Help is available for teenagers addicted to heroin. Any parents with teens who have run into legal trouble should seek legal assistance right away.

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