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Why Do You Think They Call it Dope?

by James Heller 31. July 2009 12:20
By Brooklyn Cyr, CADC-II

In 2006, 560,000 Americans age 12 and older had engaged in heroin abuse at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health; http://www.samhsa.gov/. The NIDA-funded 2007 Monitoring the Future Study showed that 0.8% of 8th graders, 0.8% of 10th graders, and 0.9% of 12th graders had abused heroin at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Source: Monitoring the Future http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/.

Drug use among youth is certainly not just an American problem.  Adolescent substance use is on the rise all over the world.  It is up to alcohol and drug treatment providers to stand up and take notice to the world around them and the culture of drug use among our many teenagers.  Tarzana Treatment Centers are able to provide heroin treatment to youth in many different capacities to stabilize the drug user and bring about the changes that they seek and promote long term sobriety.

Heroin treatment for youth is particularly tough to treat, but it is possible.  Different cities all over the world treat heroin addiction in different ways, some successful, some with a heavy hand.  For example, in 1997 Indonesia created a new law that authorized shooting suspected drug smugglers.  

Heroin is a huge problem in Indonesia, but is death by firing squad a way to treat someone with a disease?  According to a 2006 article Inside Indonesia 2006 by Joanna Pickle, currently, there are 29 people on death row for drug dealing in Jakarta, and 10 more prisons are planned to house drug related criminals, much of them youth who sell heroin to support their habits.  

According to the West Cape News South Africa (Oct. 3, 2008) In Cape Town South Africa drug related crimes are up by 132% with youth using heroin at alarming rates.  Recently, the AP reported that in June of 2009, three 8th graders from Milton,Wisconsin overdosed on heroin and in 13 months there have been 11 deaths due to heroin use.  

In Ireland, the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine surveyed 86 teenagers in Dublin and discovered many started using heroin at age 14, with 52% of those having seen a psychiatrist at some point in their youth.  The study also cites that many of the teens are from stable two parent family homes and did not exhibit other criminal behavior.

What may be more concerning is that the youth all over the world are purchasing heroin from dealers who are not strung out junkies on the street corner.  The dealers are elders in their very own community.  For example, in Indonesia, grandmothers are the typical dealer, selling to support their families while here in the U.S. there are similar situations taking place.  

With all of this information and statistics, what is a parent to do for their own child who is using heroin?  Heroin Treatment is the answer.  Early drug intervention is key to the recovery process.  Looking the other way or minimizing adolescent drug abuse is part of the problem and enables the youth to continue using.  The earlier a youth is engaged in drug treatment, the better the outcome for long lasting recovery.  

There are many types of interventions that you will have to choose from, and Tarzana Treatment Centers can offer them.  For the heroin addict, withdrawal is a painful process.  It keeps the addict in a cycle of using.  Heroin detox through medical detoxification can help with heroin withdrawals.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers utilizes Subutex or Methadone to ease with the withdrawal process and the client can then attend groups during this very delicate and critical time.  Tarzana Treatment Centers employs a variety of different types of therapists ranging from certified drug and alcohol counselors to Ph.D level therapists.  The youth also have access to adolescent mental health treatment with a psychiatrist if needed.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the treatment usually offered along with Brief Motivational Interviewing.  

Of course when treating the addict, it is imperative that family therapy is taking place to treat the addict’s family, as addiction is a family disease.  This is an important component that youth engage in at Tarzana Treatment Centers.  Family drug treatment groups are offered in both English and Spanish.  12-step meetings are also encouraged as part of the treatment process and to assist the youth with building new peer groups.  

It is important to remember that there is hope for addicts.  There is treatment available and if you are uninsured or underinsured there are treatment options available to you as well.  It is important to note that removing a youth from their home is usually the last step in the intervention process.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers offers outpatient adolescent drug treatment as well as residential drug rehab.  There is an onsite school for youth at the center so that they will not suffer missing out on their education while engaging in treatment.  People from all over the world have come to Tarzana Treatment Centers to receive the care they need and deserve.

The key to recovery is early intervention and the longer one stays in treatment the better the outcome for long term recovery.  So the next time you see a teen, or your son or daughter under the influence of heroin, don’t look the other way and hope it’s just a phase, it is a life threatening disease and they need to be treated.  

If you need help with adolescent heroin addiction or abuse please call Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.