Heroin’s Back

We’re thrilled that USA Today/Media Planet ran our Infographic and is helping to spread awareness about the heroin epidemic.


If you’ve seen the news lately, you may have noticed that heroin is back in a big way.

Communities across the country – regardless of geographic location or economic status – are experiencing an alarming uptick in deaths related to heroin overdose.

So, why is this happening? Why are so many teens becoming addicted to heroin in this day and age, when it seems nearly everyone knows the dangers of this drug? It’s beginning with something you might have at home right now. Nearly half of young people who inject heroin start by abusing prescription drugs.


To help you understand how the transition happens and what you should be aware of to keep your family and community safe, we’ve developed an interactive infographic. Follow the journey of a teen; hear stories from families who have been down this road; and find the tools you need to take action – whether you’re a parent, health care provider, educator or community member.

Resources like this are available free of charge because of generous donors. Please consider making a donation now so we can continue to help families every day. We appreciate your support.

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18 Responses

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    August 22, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    My son is almost 24 and has been using drugs since the age of 15. He has been using IV heroin for most of the last 5 years, with the exception of 11 months clean after a stint in rehab. He relapsed after stopping his suboxone and selling it to other addicts. He has been living with us again since he left treatment. It is a constant emotional roller coaster. He has stolen from us, of course, he lies, of course. He manages to keep his job as a server, but the money goes straight to his dealer.

    At 0512 I woke up from dead sleep to this horrible noise. I can’t describe the sound. But it was this wheezing, gasping, weird breathing sound. I jumped up and went to find my son. The noise was coming from my den upstairs. I go up there and he is sitting straight up on the couch, his head tossed back and mouth wide open. There was a syringe lying next to him. I thought he was dying.

    I screamed and shook him and he woke up. He didn’t even realize that I was looking right at the needle. I started crying and he tried to calm me down and tell me everything was good. He lied some, told some truth. But truth is I can’t unsee that and I know he’s going to die. I felt it all last night.

    I don’t know how to do this anymore

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    So Sad

    June 17, 2016 at 9:34 PM

    Had the doctor or pharmacist said directly that the medication prescribed for my son was indeed heroin in pill-form we would have taken a very different approach to my sons pain management due to an injury in high school. Had the doctor asked directly about family (extended) history with addiction we would have thought twice about trying to ease the pain for our son. I’m not saying I place all the blame on any one particular person, but this needs to be addressed. I am not an expert on pharmaceuticals and I had no idea what hell would eventually ensue for us.

    What began as an injury in his senior year, our son began to abuse prescription pills to lessen his pain which led to snorting heroin. My husband and I did not know about his ongoing issue until 5 years after his injury. We tried being supportive at home (being enablers thinking we were helping) and began to tighten the reigns when things were not getting better. Our son left our home when he realized he could no longer lie his way out of his situation and landed in jail for possession.

    We hoped this would wake him up and actually be his rock-bottom but to no avail he overdosed on the way to rehab (nothing prepares you for witnessing this). The paramedics were able to get him through the episode and we continued to get him to a facility for treatment.

    He’s been in 4 weeks now with another 4 to go and I am terrified for when he is back to reality. I can’t get past the fact that relapse is likely and that it can kill him. I have such sorrow and dread and feel myself trying to become numb so I can avoid the idea of grieving the loss of another child (first not drug-related). I feel like a robot trying to get through each day and am beginning to feel overwhelmed with work as I try to deal with my emotions.

    If this is a never-ending cycle, how do you learn to manage the rollercoaster, work and trying to keep a piece of me alive? I feel like I have aged so much this past year, that I have changed, and part of my heart has died.

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