Public Health Agencies Report Troubling Teen Drug Use Trends

By Staff Writer

In previous generations, opiate addiction was a problem that only affected older, more experienced drug users. However, it is increasingly becoming a problem among younger individuals. A growing number of teenagers are being admitted to drug rehab facilities for heroin addiction.

The problem is particularly widespread in Southern states. The Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse recently issued a report outlining the prevalence of opiate addiction among teens. According to the Dallas Morning News, the report indicates that 218 teenagers were admitted to state-run drug rehab facilities for heroin addiction in 2009. This is an increase from 2005, when only 33 adolescents were treated.

Alison Watros, the Council’s director of prevention programs, told the news source that many people are unaware of the high rate of opiate addiction among teens because it receives little media coverage. However, many teens continue to use the drug.

Nationally, about 2 percent of teenagers report abusing heroin or other opiates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.