Heroin use in teens increase - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Heroin use in teens increase

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Teenage drug use is a constant problem. Now more teens are turning to heroin.

According to local drug counselors, they're seeing more high schoolers using heroin because it's cheaper and easier to get.

For a long time, prescription drugs like Oxycodone and Oxycontin were popular because they were found in the medicine cabinet.

But getting a prescription and high cost of the drug put a limit on where addicts could turn. The connection between oxycondone and heroin is opiate. A highly addictive substance used to relieve pain.

"Easier to get if the youth don't have somebody to get the pills. Somebody's got to get it prescribed to them and have in their possession and be willing to sell it. Where heroin it's just there to be sold on the streets," explains drug counselor Penny Bell.

The counseling center says the growth has been slow, but steady. They say marijuana is still a more popular drug for younger teens. But as they become older heroin becomes a stronger choice for some.

Counselors add signs parents should look out for include anxiety, fatigue, appetite loss, cramps and abdominal pain.

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