Health Kids

10 Warning Signs Your Teen is Using Heroin

10 Warning Signs Your Teen is Using Heroin
Written by Lori Wildenberg

Recent shocking headlines like this:

February 1, 2017 Pregnant Wisconsin mother accused of using heroin, driving with kids in car

and this:

November 2016  Parents injected their three children with heroin and called it sleeping juice and feel good medicine

and this: 

The Washington Post in August 2016 The latest overdose outbreak shows just how dangerous the heroin epidemic has gotten 

have garnered media attention. Just about three years ago, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an apparent heroin overdose. That tragedy brought the topic of drug use, specifically heroin use, back to main stream attention. But now, three years later…have we forgotten?

We are tuned into the dangers of  kids using prescription drugs, but we need to also be aware that  heroin has made a comeback; reminiscent of the 70’s and early 80’s drug culture.

In one of the parenting courses I’m teaching, I asked the moms and dads, “Why heroin?”

One couple who are sadly and intimately knowledgeable about this issue answered, “It’s cheap and easy to use.”

After doing a little research myself, I concur, yes that is what the studies show. Heroin is affordable. It can be sniffed, smoked, or shot-up.

This couple’s child didn’t fit the profile of a drug user. He is a good kid, a smart kid, and brought up in a Christian home.

So why does a smart, good kid with caring parents take drugs?

The reasons are as unique as the child. Here are a few:
1. To fit in socially
2. Use as an escape
3. Rebellion
4. YOLO (You Only Live Once. Why not try it?)

We don’t anticipate our kids will use or abuse drugs, but studies show that 40% of kids try marijuana by the age of 18. Some of those individuals move onto harder drugs.

If you think your child is using heroin here are 10 signs to watch for:
1. Small pupils or pupils that don’t respond to light.
2. Needle marks in the arms or legs (the child wears long sleeves or pants even in warm weather).
3. Unusual or changed sleeping habits.
4. Vomiting, coughing , or sniffling.
5. Twitching.
6. Loss of appetite.
7. Poor hygiene.
8. You may have missing shoelaces (used as tourniquet).
9. Spoons that are burned around the edges.
10. Stealing money.

So what can a parent do? 
Continue to stay involved in your child’s life. Pay attention to changes in your child’s behavior, friendships, schoolwork, or attendance. If you suspect drug use, look into it. Go ahead, search your child’s room. (Only do this if you believe something is going on, otherwise avoid this.) If you discover that your tween or teen is involved with drugs, seek professional help right away and find some trustworthy friends who will hold you and your family up in prayer. This is a problem that will not get better by itself and will get worse with time.

If you would like more information, I found this site particularly informative:

 Lori’s book: Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love (Wildenberg & Danielson) discusses what to do about the things that tempt your child in the chapter titled, Choose Goodness. Lori, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting is available for speaking and parent coaching-consulting. Click here to connect with Lori  .

About the author

Lori Wildenberg

Lori Wildenberg co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting and Licensed Parent and Family Educator is passionate about coming alongside parents and encouraging them to parent well. She loves mentoring moms and dads and speaking on the topic of parenting. She is co-author of 3 parenting books including the recently published Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love. Lori lives in Colorado with her husband and four children. Visit or for more information.