Kent Williams, the Bartlett Police Chief, is bent on giving parents answers to their questions as to why heroin is so prevalent in the DuPage County, Illinois, area. In 2013 alone, 46 people died of heroin overdoses in DuPage County and as the Wheaton Patch stated, that is almost one death a week from such a high potency drug! What in the world is it doing in such a prevalent area?
At least people are being prosecuted for selling or distributing this drug, but that is of little consolation if it is your child that has been taken over by this addictive opioid substance that works as a painkiller.
Our bodies produce endorphins which are natural pain-killing substances. Heroin tends to mimic the endorphins and quickly binds to the endorphin receptors, extending and magnifying their natural painkilling effects – making someone feel very, very good – a “rush” if you will.
People like this warm and fuzzy feeling, so they are naturally attracted to repeating the use of the drug. After continuing its use, the person can no longer control whether to choose to do heroin or not, they are addicted.
Many teens choose to use heroin to “escape” from the real world and all of its challenges. Unfortunately too much of any one thing is never a good thing and so kids are overdosing and dying as a result of heroin.
Parents should worry if they witness the following physical signs on their children:
· Red or bloodshot eyes
· Contracted pupils
· Bumps and redness on the arms at injection sites
· Runny nose
· Changes in sleep patterns
· Loss of appetite
· Significant weight loss
Heroin can be used in several ways:
· Intravenous injection provides the greatest and quickest high – seven to eight seconds
· Intra-muscular injection is a slower high – five to eight minutes
· Smoking or sniffing heroin produces the slowest high – providing its peak effect after 10 to 15 minutes
If a parent suspects that their teen may be into heroin, he or she should be on the lookout for drug paraphernalia: needles, rolled up dollar bills, etc. If a parent does find the equipment or even suspects drug usage, they need to get their child help right away! Once a teen is addicted, it is hard to shake the habit!
Parenting is difficult enough without having to help your child with withdrawal symptoms like dysphoria, which is a combination of anxiety, depression and restlessness; insomnia; muscle aches; and diarrhea. The physical symptoms are only a part of it though; the irritability or emotional outbursts that the child could experience may just be enough to drive a parent mad.
If you find that your teen or young adult is selling or distributing heroin, this is another issue altogether. Remind them that they could potentially be charged with a Drug Induced Homicide, a Class X Felony, and Criminal Drug Conspiracy, a Class 1 Felony, besides other charges, if the person they are selling to dies in the process of taking the drug. Ask them if they are willing to give up their entire future just to sell drugs?
Drugs are bad! No matter how much good parents teach their children to stay away from any part of them, somehow some kids still get drawn in – no matter where they grow up. Don’t give up, though. The more you parent, the less likely it will be that you have to face the fact that your teen somehow got caught up in the drug web of destruction.