With the apparent uptick in heroin usage among students (and maybe teachers?) at Northfield High School (It was even in the newspaper; so it's gotta be true), this writer offers, as a nearly-free public service, a comprehensive listing of warning signs that your teenager is addicted to heroin.
1. Has small "x" marks drawn on his arm with the words "jab here" written underneath each one.
2. Frequently compliments your cooking by saying: "Wow, Mom! This meatloaf is almost as good as heroin!"
3. You find a dozen used syringes in his sock drawer; one more than usual.
4. Asks if you happen to have another $500 cash on you to buy another mountain bike, because the one he bought yesterday is "all used up."
5. Eyes are bloodshot and have needles sticking out of them.
6. Is fifteen, but calm, thoughtful and well-mannered.
7. You begin to notice sporadic $300 charges on your credit card statement from Ye Olde Narcotic Shoppe.
8. Surprisingly little reaction to placing his hand on the hot burner the second, third and fourth times.
9. Listens to "drug music" that features guitars, drums and singing all amplified electronically in some sinister, heroinic manner, then recorded on CD "tracks".
10. You find a five-hundred foot spool of surgical tubing in his room, and you're pretty sure he's not taking AP Surgery until next year.
11. Is six feet tall, weighs eighty-five pounds.
12. When confronted, he begins denying it irrationally; until he shoots up and begins denying it much more logically.
13. Watches TV, talks on the phone, stays up late, thinks he knows everything.
14. His arms whistle when he walks.
15. Seems very sensitive about where you move his "science experiment" baggies.
16. Changes his e-mail address to "firstname.lastname@example.org".
17. Even though you've loved him since birth, he is no longer as willing to smoke a bowl with you.
18. Has one of those yellow novelty "Keep Out! Heroin In Use!" signs on his door.
19. Remarks that the first thing he notices about a girl is his possible percentage of her "rental" value.
20. Recently upgraded to "Platinum" status in the Heroin-of-the-Month Club.
21. Can't stop talking about veins.
22. Not as conscious as he once was.
23. Routinely talks to his good friend, "Bob Smith" in Afghanistan.
24. Subscribes to both "H Illustrated" and "Black Tar Quarterly".
25. No longer gets up at the crack of noon.