A parenting mistake is that parents often ban their children from doing this, not trying that, but not explaining why this is the case. Heroin and other drugs are examples. When your kids get older and think more logically, instead of banning/scolding them, provide them with on-time, useful information and clear evidence explaining why parents do so.
This article will summarize the basic information that parents need to know about Teen Heroin use: What is Heroin, short-term responses and long-term effects of Heroin to minors, and importantly how to protect and prevent your children from these threats in the first place?
What is Heroin?
Heroin is derived from the poppy plant and is a synthetic addictive substance. Although Heroin used to be a prescription pain reliever, it was banned in the early 20th century due to its addictive side effects. Long-term abuse of Heroin, in addition to being addictive, has other adverse effects on the body, especially the brain.
Teen Heroin use: Short-term responses
Heroin is usually given intravenously or can be inhaled through the nose. Effect of one dose of Heroin lasted for a few hours, but the euphoria lasted only a few minutes. When the euphoria ends, the user starts “nodding” – falling into a state of unconsciousness. Other short-term effects from Heroin include:
– Respiratory failure
– Skin flushing
– Heavy limbs
– Dry mouth
– Pupils get smaller
– Loss of appetite
– Severe itching
– The mood changes suddenly (mood swing)
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The life-long effects of Teen Heroin use
Teen Heroin addicts experience these symptoms for several years. Then there are the long-
– Drug-shocked, overdosed
– Vein contraction (Small veins)
– Drug dependence, increased tolerance
– Blood clots at the injection point
– Difficulty conceiving (female)
– Lung infection: pneumonia or tuberculosis
– Damage to the liver and kidneys
– Heart and lung diseases
– Infection with a virus such as HIV or hepatitis caused by sharing needles
How does Heroin affect your child’s brain?
The brain contains opioid receptors, and it naturally produces opioid chemicals for the body to cope with pain. However, opioids do not last long and they do not strong enough to help cure chronic pain. Therefore, many prescribed pain relievers contain synthetic opioids.
Heroin was previously used as a drug because it binds to opioid receptors, leading to the release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters which stop the pain and help patients relax.
When the users experience heroin withdrawal, the symptoms resemble severe flu, with accompanied soreness, chills, depression, exhaustion and nausea, and a strong craving for the drug.
Teen Heroin addiction: Brain damage
You can explain to your child that Heroin causes brain damage in several different ways.
First, Heroin reduces the brain’s ability to produce natural opioids, causing the brain to alter the structure of the neural reward system, making the user dependent on the drug. The opioid receptors in the brain are involved in pain relief and are also associated with breathing. People who abuse heroin will find it difficult to breathe, even if they do not overdose.
The opioid receptors in the brain are involved in pain relief and are also associated with respiration. People who abuse heroin will find it difficult to breathe, even if they do not overdose. Shortness of breath is when the breath becomes shallow, slow, or irregular, and the body receives less oxygen.
When the body has less oxygen, the brain decreases the function of other systems, resulting in organ damage. Lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage. Heroin abuse has been linked to a form of brain damage that is similar to Alzheimer’s disease. According to research, Heroin produces a low-grade inflammation in the brain.
For some people, Heroin can cause a form of dementia.
What will your child’s body look like when quitting/stopping using Heroin?
There is not much evidence of brain recovery after heroin damage. Heroin addiction is considered a chronic disease. However, like many other chronic diseases, heroin addiction can be treated. The evidence is that many people have overcome their addiction and live healthy lives. Some changes to the brain structure, such as dementia mentioned above, are reversible.
However, there are not enough studies to confirm or deny this.
How can parents protect children from Heroin in the first place?
Just like against tuberculosis, you protect your baby by vaccinating them from birth, you can also help immunize your baby against teen Heroin use by providing him with useful information, clear cases of Heroin’s harms to children before they are curious and put themselves in a risky situation.
Besides, create a friendly talking environment between you and your children, so that your children can freely share even the most sensitive issues with their parents. When your child is uncomfortable talking to you, they will look elsewhere for answers, and these sources are unlikely to be reliable.
Children who are not given appropriate and timely information are at increased risk of engaging in unsafe behaviors and trying drugs.
However, nothing in this world is 100% absolute.
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