October 2013 will be the first time
Putnam County will have a Prescription (opiate) and Heroin Awareness Month. The following are some frequently asked questions about opiate and heroin.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a morphine derivative and morphine is opium's most potent active ingredient. First synthesized in 1874, heroin was widely used in medicine in the early part of the 20th century, until its addictive potential was recognized. Pure heroin is a powder with a bitter taste. Street heroin may vary in color from white to dark brown because of impurities or additives. There is a dark brown or black form of the drug, as dense as roofing tar or coal, known as "black tar."
Who uses Heroin?
There is no “cookie cutter” heroin user. Individuals of all ages and lifestyles have used heroin. According to the DEA, approximately 1.2% of the population reported using heroin at least once in their lifetime.
What are the long-term consequences of Heroin use?
Users say they are never able to recreate the euphoria of their first high. Heroin users develop a tolerance for the drug and progressively use more in an effort to get the original feeling. Heroin is highly addictive.
Is there a connection between Prescription Drugs and Heroin?
Abuse of prescription
opiate pain killers (i.e., Oxycontin, Vicodin, etc) are behind heroin's growth
in popularity with young people: these pills are the doorway to heroin abuse. Youth
become addicted to pain killers initially by helping themselves to their
parent's prescriptions (or those of friends' parents). They then need to buy on
the 'street', but the pills cost between $20 - $50 each. Heroin is inexpensive
How to know when someone needs help?
There are signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse, but, it can be difficult to separate from typical teen behavior. You may find tell tale signs from the: Parents Resource Center sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug Free America at the web site http://www.drugfree.org or MADD - Power of Parents web site at http://www.thepowerofparents.org. Experts strongly agree that if you suspect something is wrong that you should consult a professional for an assessment. Teaming up with an addiction professional can get your child the help they need. Please refer to the OASAS web site for a listing of certified programs professionals at http://www.oasas.state.ny.us or call OASAS Addiction Services Helpline 1-877-8-HOPENY or the Putnam County Crisis Hotline at 225-1222. Referral services are also available at the National Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies/Putnam for information on treatment and the various levels of care available.
How can I prevent my child from becoming addicted?
The best way to prevent your child from becoming addicted is to educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of both alcohol and drug abuse and take action as soon as you suspect that your child may be using. Most importantly, develop healthy communication with your child so that you can better recognize any changes that may occur with substance use. Your child will be more likely to seek you out if he or she has a problem if open communication has been established.
A great link for all
this information can be found at the Parents Resource Center, sponsored by the
Partnership for a Drug Free America at the web site http://www.drugfree.org
or MADD Power of Parents web site at http://www.thepowerofparents.org.
Please visit http://www.putnamncadd.org/resources.html for more information on resources available in Putnam County.