Heroin abuse can infect every part of a teenager’s life, so the signs that a teenager is abusing heroin can be varied. From problems at home and at school, to changes in social choices, and health concerns, the signs of an addiction illustrate to a parent that their child needs help. Unfortunately, many of these signs may not become apparent until heroin abuse has become a substantial issue. To find out what the warning signs of a teen heroin addiction are, keep reading.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has classified the following as physical issues that can be displayed by a teenager actively abusing heroin:
• Shallow or slowed breathing
• Itchy skin
• Vomiting and/or nausea
• Acting extremely drowsy
• Difficulty following conversations and communicating
• Dry mouth
• Flushed skin
A heroin addiction is particularly concerning because of the strong withdrawal symptoms an addict can face. These include:
• Goosebumps and chills
• Diarrhea and stomach cramps
• Vomiting and nausea
• Bone and Muscle Pain
Whilst a teenager will experience some form of emotional turmoil during his teen years due to hormonal changes, a teen addicted to heroin will display changes that are extreme and erratic. These will increase as the dependence on the drug increase. Emotional signs include:
• A lack of interest in academics
• Dropping out of activities that were previously enjoyed such as sports, drama, and school related groups
• Defiance against authority
• Breaking rules at school or home
• Depressed and/or angry behavior
• Extreme changes in attitude and appearance
• Isolating from family on a regular basis
In addition to the above, a teen with a heroin addiction is likely to also be displaying some interpersonal signs of addiction. In some cases, social problems at school, the death of a loved one, divorce, and/or bullying, can be the catalyst that leads to a teenager trying heroin. However, these can also be symptoms of the addiction itself. Chronic drug use can lead to a teenager causing interpersonal issues for himself at school and at home.
What to Do
Although you will likely be feeling horrified that your teen is abusing heroin, it’s important to be there for him and to hide your emotions. Whilst no parent wants to believe that their teen is taking drugs, overdose is a daily threat, so you need to tackle the problem, rather than burying your head in the sand.
The first step is to educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of abuse, which hopefully this article has helped you to do. The next step is to provide your teenager with an early intervention, and to get them the help they need. Rehabs are aware of what it takes to treat a drug addicted teen. They will be able to provide therapy, counseling, medication, and spiritual guidance to help your teen to break his addiction.
A teenage substance abuse problem needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. Keep the above signs in mind, and seek help the moment you notice anything untoward.