The Main Stream

Jul 6, 2012 3:02 PM

Heroin continues to plague Tucson's teenagers

TUCSON- More teenagers are turning to heroin as their drug of choice.

It starts out as an addiction to pills, but with low supply, pills come at a premium price. Looking for an opiate high, they start smoking or snorting heroin. Eventually they shoot it.

Sue Leverenz knows all too well what it's like to have an addicted child. "To revive your own child, and by the grace of God with success is something I haven't quite gotten past," said Leverenz.

Molly Kent, a counselor for CODAC Behavioral Health Services says it's surprisingly the more affluent middle class neighborhoods in Tucson being hit with a dose of heroin. "The dealer is the guy or the girl down the street. They are getting it at school and right outside of school," said Kent.

The numbers are cause for concern for parents. Teens trying heroin for the first time increased 80 percent among children 12 to 17 since 2002. In 1999 there were 198 heroin deaths among people ages 15 to 24. In 2009 that number was 510.

"It's in every school, it's in every neighborhood. Black tar is given to children to sell. They get them high, hooked then they sell it," said Leverenz.

She says it may be worth a look inside your child's book bag, before it's too late.

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