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Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Parenting Tips, Saving Our Sons, The Quest Project | 0 comments

Parenting Teens? Heroin Spares No One

The stories are disturbing; teens addicted to and dying from heroin.   It’s happening right under our nose, in our own backyard, rich and poor communities.  It is pervasive, from schools to homes to the streets and parks.

The numbers are staggering.  But they don’t show the complete picture.

“My Son Wouldn’t Do Drugs”

That’s the most common response I hear!  Parents assume their teenager is or could be experimenting with alcohol or pot.  They never imagine, in fact, it’s HEROIN or now the latest killer FENTANYL which is even stronger.  Just like them I never imagined the time would come when we would say at least it’s “only alcohol or pot.”

I am an advocate for children so this message is straightforward

This is a serious problem among our young people.  My hope is that every parent will consider the very real possibility that heroin has invaded their lives.  It’s the only way we can save our kids.

Parents sincerely believe that because they “experimented with drugs (pot) and with alcohol and didn’t gateway to harder drugs” that their son won’t either. 

Remember these three rules:

First RuleDrinking before age 21 is illegal.  Doing drugs is illegal and both can kill you!

Second RuleNo two people are the same.  Your son is not you!

Third RuleIf either parent has any addictive behavior, it increases the chances the child will become addicted!

Some Facts About Heroin

  • It’s cheap.  Street prices are as low as $5-$10. 
  • It’s readily available.
  • It’s highly addictive, because it is processed from morphine.
  • Heroin causes lung damage, kidney failure, heart problems and, ultimately death.
  • Heroin can be injected, snorted or swallowed.

Signs to watch for: tiny pupils, nodding off easily, breathing slowly and a runny nose.  Additional signs are vomiting, scratching, complaints of constipation and nausea, drug sick, disinterest in appearance and wearing long sleeves (snorting or swallowing is just as popular as injecting and easier to hide).

“The Fork in the Road”

Eventually when an experimenting adolescent comes to a crossroad they have a choice to make.  They don’t really want much to do with smoking pot or drinking.  The other choice is chronic use and a potential gateway to harder drugs, or other addictive behavior.  That’s when my experience is effective.  I would recommend completion of a treatment program first; after completion, we can begin hard work on how to stay clean.

I can sometimes help with recovery.  When I can identify “the wound” (traumatic event), and understand the time and space and what is going on, I can become a much needed resource for you.  Your son or daughter must be part of saving themselves.  It is imperative that this is put right in front of them!

Seek Help Immediately

If you suspect your teenager is using any drug or alcohol, you need to seek help immediately.  Users fear the pain and sickness of withdrawal which is why they can’t stop.  It is also the reason they don’t want to stop. 

Are you or a loved one dealing with addiction?  There is help and hope.  My hope is that you will seek it out now.


Clayton Lessor
Clayton Lessor, PhD in education and counseling, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice. He is author of "Generation of Men: How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men" and “Saving Our Sons: A Parent's Guide to Preparing Boys for Success." Dr. Clay has seen over 2000 boys since 2000 and facilitated over 300 The Quest Project groups. Boys attend a 10-week "boys to men program" where they and their parents will learn the tools needed to get through these turbulent teen years. Dr. Clay is a member of the Steering Committee for The Coalition to Create a White House Council for Boys and Men.
Clayton Lessor
Clayton Lessor

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