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Review
, 15 (2), 210-5

The Resurgence and Abuse of Heroin by Children in the United States

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Review

The Resurgence and Abuse of Heroin by Children in the United States

Asim F Tarabar et al. Curr Opin Pediatr.

Abstract

Heroin, one of the most addictive and "hardest" drugs of abuse, carries significant morbidity and mortality. Although its use is usually associated with the adult population in the United States, the last decade has witnessed a decrease in the median age of heroin users. An increase in the availability of inexpensive and pure heroin that could be snorted rather than injected made the drug accessible to adolescents and reduced the fear associated with the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Because of the atypical demographics and the alternative drug use patterns, this young population of heroin users is not easily identified by parents or by healthcare providers. Lack of social support or access to healthcare prevents young heroin users from participation in detoxification programs, suggesting that changes may be needed in our healthcare and social systems to properly target and provide care to the youngest heroin abusers.

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