Teen Heroin Addiction
Teens are no exception to the opiate epidemic, as teen heroin addiction is a natural consequence to 0.4% of 12th graders using heroin within the past year. Heroin is not only illegal but a highly dangerous and addictive narcotic. Many teens get into heroin after abusing prescription drugs, specifically opioids. Opioids are highly addictive substances derived from chemicals in the poppy plant, including hydromorphone, oxycodone, and heroin itself.
Opiate use has continued to rise in the United States, culminating with President Trump issuing an executive order in 2017 declaring a public health emergency regarding the opiate epidemic. Opiate overdoses have also skyrocketed, as accidental overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50.
Teen Heroin Addiction
Teen heroin addiction occurs often for teen heroin users. Many compulsively abuse heroin despite wanting to quit. Wanting to stop using is often not enough to fully recover from heroin addiction. Heroin is a neurotransmitter inhibitor that causes your brain to release a rush of dopamine. Dopamine causes the pleasurable effects of intoxication. Teen heroin addiction is especially complex because the human brain doesn’t fully develop until the late 20s. Furthermore, heroin dependency causes substantial changes to your brain chemistry.
When you use heroin, your brain associates heroin with pleasure. Your brain then releases a surge of dopamine every time you use and restricts their release when you don’t use heroin. Once intoxication ends, teens are left with a depletion of neurotransmitters.
Some common signs of teen heroin addiction include:
- Having syringes, metal spoons, baggies, pipes, or aluminum foil
- Sudden weight loss
- Personality and mood changes
- Wearing long-sleeved clothing even when it’s hot
- Having dark circles under your eyes or pale skin
How Teen Heroin Addiction is Treated
Teen heroin addiction requires treatment because substance abuse disorders are chronic conditions. Symptoms like cravings can occur for weeks, or even months, after your last use. Treatment is almost always necessary in order to fully recover. Another downside of heroin addiction is that it can lead to physical dependence, which means you’ll experience intense and severe withdrawal symptoms if you immediately stop using it.
Withdrawal symptoms vary in intensity and depend on your method of use, length of use, and how severe your addiction is. Withdrawal symptoms can start within hours of your last use, so it’s important to connect with a rehab that offers medically supervised detox services when you decide to get help.
Treatment can occur in an inpatient or an outpatient setting. Inpatient treatment can include detox and usually lasts for four weeks. Inpatient programs are the highest level of care for teen heroin addiction.
Finding Help Today
Don’t let addiction control your life. Heroin abuse and addiction can lead to medical and mental health problems and prevent you from living a healthy and productive life. Call us today at 855.786.1978 to find out more about our teen heroin addiction treatment programs.