The new face of heroin

Photo  T he image of a listless young heroin addict collapsed in a filthy, dark alley is obsolete. Today, the young addict could be 12 years old, play video games and enjoy the music of his generation. He could appear smart, stylish and bear none of the common traces of heroin use, such as needle marks on his arm.

Because it is available in various forms that are easier to consume and more affordable, heroin today is more tempting than ever. A young person who might think twice about putting a needle in his arm may more readily smoke or sniff the same drug.

But this is falsely reassuring and may give one the idea that there is less risk. The truth is that heroin in all its forms is dangerous and addictive.

The image of heroin as fashionable an image pushed by drug dealers and drug users is intended to increase consumption.

The result? The number of teenagers in America admitted to emergency rooms after smoking or inhaling heroin increased 200% from 1991 to 1996.(5)

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