14 Jan Is Heroin Use on the Rise?
According to About.com’s About Health blog, 2014 saw heroin making a comeback after years of decline, but why? It looks like a combination of factors have led to this unfortunate trend, including increased availability of the drug as well as users switching to heroin in response to a crackdown on prescription drug abuse. Today’s users are younger than in the recent past, and are also more likely to overdose. Heroin is highly addictive and highly dangerous, with a high risk of accidental overdose. In addition, dealers often mix heroin with other drugs, making it even more dangerous and unpredictable.
In response to the growing trend, Governor Cuomo announced renewed efforts to combat the problem and Rockland County’s District Attorney last year unveiled a new prevention plan including specialized training for prosecutors, local law enforcement and school districts on the dangers and warning signs of heroin use and overdose death, treatment options and support groups, resources and prevention opportunities.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) adolescence is a crucial time for preventing drug addiction because “early use of drugs increases a person’s chances of developing addiction. Remember, drugs change brains—and this can lead to addiction and other serious problems.” In order to do this effectively, the NIH says prevention programs need to enhance protective factors such as parental support and reduce risk factors, which for teens include association with drug-abusing peers. The National Institute on Drug Abuse finds that “early intervention with risk factors (e.g., aggressive behavior and poor self-control) often has a greater impact than later intervention by changing a child’s life path…away from problems and toward positive behaviors.”