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“More and more suburban teens are turning to smack to get high, defying conventional wisdom that big, metropolitan cities are the worst harbingers of heroin,” reports the Daily Mail. “Some say that while there is a lot of outreach for kids in urban areas, suburban kids slip through the cracks and are exposed to drugs their parents thought were miles away. Around the nation, teen deaths from heroin use have also gone up, from just 198 in 1999 to 510 in 2009, a 157 per cent increase, according to the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration….’Kids in the city know not to touch it, but the message never got out to the suburbs,’ retired Chicago Police Captain John Roberts said to NBC. ‘We didn’t think it would ever be a problem out here.’ Captain Roberts thought that moving his son out to the suburbs of Chicago would spare him the exposure, let alone introduction to the dangerous opiate. Billy, a high school athlete, started on prescription painkillers, like many of his friends. Eventually, the teens could no longer afford they expensive habit, so they turned to the cheaper stuff. Billy was just 19 when he died of a heroin overdose. ‘Part of the problem is they don’t realize how bad it is,’ said Captain Roberts. ‘After Billy used it a few times, he thought he was OK, because he didn’t seem like a junkie.’…..Among 12- to 17-year-olds, introductions to heron have increased 80 per cent since 2002, according to data obtained by NBC. The prevalence of heroin is often connected to prescription pain medication, like Oxycontin, which is legal and easily accessible to some teens.”
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