The death of actor Cory Monteith shines a spotlight on the new face of heroin use in the US—and—could friending your teen on Facebook lead to a better relationship? Show Notes

Thursday, August 01, 2013 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Heroin is illegal drug that is typically associated with desperate junkies on the street.  But according to a story on PluggedIn.com, the death of 31-year-old Glee star Cory Monteith from an accidental overdose of heroin and alcohol is shining a new spotlight on the type of person who actually uses the drug.  

Dr. Richard Clark, the director of toxicology at the University of California San Diego Medical Center says this:  "I deal with drug users every day.  The stereotypical user on the street?  That's the past as far as heroin use in the U.S. is concerned.  Lots of people are using it these days—kids, teenagers, white-collar workers."

In 2012, the government reported an 80% increase in first-time usage of herion use among teens.  Heroin is now cheaper and more plentiful than it's ever been.

And as the government has begun to crack down on prescription drug abuse more forcefully, heroin has become an alternative.

On a more positive note, teens who are connected with their parents on social networks feel closer to them in real life. That's according to a new study out of Brigham Young University

Researchers found that half of teens have "friended" their parents online, with 20% saying they interact with them online every day.  BYU professor Sarah Coyne says “It’s bidirectional…as we have experiences in new media, it strengthens bonds that are already there.

Dr. Coyne cautions, “You don't want these results to get overblown to say, 'If you friend your kid on Facebook, you're suddenly going to have a great relationship.' It's just one tool in an arsenal that parents have to connect with their teens."

For more great tips on connecting with your teens, go to focusonthefamily.com and click on “Parenting”

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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