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Friday, October 29, 2010

Teens Battle Heroin Addiction

Addiction is a very complex disease that has countless people trapped in a never ending vicious cycle that some people never escape. Generally, when people think of hard drug users, they think of people from the inner-city where drugs are thought to come from. Sadly, a whole section of the American population, those that live in affluent suburbs and come from good hard working families, is overlooked by the public - especially teenagers and young adults. Heroin is perhaps the most powerful drug that anyone can become addicted to and one of the most deadly because of the high rate of overdoses from I.V. drug use. Helping addicts hooked on heroin escape the clutches of the drug is a very difficult task one often fraught with hardship.

Addiction is not about just doing a drug, getting high, and then doing it again. An addict has to completely structure their life around finding the means and the method of achieving the next high. It is very difficult for addicts to maintain jobs, even if they do manage that, rarely do they make enough money to support a serious drug habit which involves getting high multiple times a day so that they will not get sick. The terrible physical withdrawals that accompany heroin addiction are severe and without the aid of treatment, family, and friends recovery rarely happens. American suburbs are full of teenagers and young adults whose families unsuspectingly fund the drugs that keep their child hooked. It very difficult for a mother or father to every even dream or believe that their child is doing drugs like heroin; even teachers who see kids nodding off (falling asleep) in class hardly would suspect that the cause was heroin. The reality is that parents, teachers, and counselors have to be extra vigilant about watching for signs of hard drug use, addicts rarely come forward about their problem and if they do it is probably to late for addiction has already taken hold.

ABC's 20/20 has spent the last eight months following three heroin addicts that come from the suburbs and have supportive and loving families. A well known treatment facility aided ABC in covering the story to help viewers understand just how difficult heroin addiction can be. It can be very hard to watch but will be informative and should help parents broaden their scope and perhaps some parents will hear and see things that will help them realize that their own child has a problem and needs help.

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To watch the whole 20/20 episode you can click here.

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