Thursday, March 26, 2009

Heroin, Opioids, Overdose, Death

I heard some sad news yesterday. A young man at my daughter's high school recently died of a drug overdose. This was the third overdose death this school year. The deaths were presumed accidental and the drugs in each case were opioids, the class of medication that I have talked about here as being an increasing problem in teens and young adults. One of the favored opioids in our area is not a prescription pill but heroin. Heroin is easy to obtain here in Tucson and now can be used not just intravenously but smoked as "black tar". Many young people who would never consider putting a needle in their arm now have access to one of the most powerful and dangerous(except for nicotine) drugs. They smoke it feeling "safe" and don't realize that like intravenous use it can result in overdose and death.

My immediate reaction is that they should be teaching about drugs in the schools! But I realize that has been done before nationwide with the D.A.R.E. program. The D.A.R.E. program was found to be totally ineffective and had no positive benefit in reducing teen drug use. It was a waste of time and money. So it is not just education but the type of education that is important. Finding that is not easy. We do know that teens accept things more from their peer group than from adults in general but also that we as adults do have influence. A peer group that is against drug use and parents who are not addicted to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco are the best first line of defense. But other than that we don't yet know the best ways for teens to communicate and educate their peers.

There is one thing that I want to talk further about, though, and that is a significant factor in influencing young men's behavior. Young men may be motivated by ideals and ideas but when it actually comes down to behavior, men follow other men not ideas and concepts. I will talk more about this in the next several days.

Thought for the day

Men follow men.

1 comment:

  1. you have no idea how many teens use heroin on a daily basis in tucson. i used to be one of them and every one ive known in tucson is now hooked on it. i had to leave the state just to get clean. if you know your kid is using, i suggest moving or else they will never stay clean, even if they get help.


    if you dont, you will find out the day they die.


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