Feb 2, 2010 10:50 PM by John Romero

Heroin use down, not out

11:30, a bell rings... it's lunchtime at Cheyenne Mountain High School. The school is still recovering after a December 2008 police investigation showed possible use of black tar heroin by students. School Resource Officer Bill Walsh is on the front line of drug prevention. He says fortunately it's not as bad as it used to be. "Things have somewhat tapered down for us with regard to the heroin use and information we've been getting." says Walsh.

But heroin use does still remain a problem in the city. Addiction specialist Jason Friesema opened up Insight Services recently and has seen a rise in clients. "I started my outpatient practice here about a year ago. It just seems like I've had a steady stream of clients wrestling with opiate addiction." he says. Even more alarming, he says it's hitting at the high school level. "It seems like it's been around age 17 and into the early 20s." explains Friesema.

There are several factors in getting kids hooked according to Friesema. In the CMHS area the kids have more disposable income and heroine use has become more socially acceptable. Another factor...many dealers are not calling it heroine. "As it was marketed as opium it became kind of en vogue to begin using the substance." H says.

Officer Walsh says there are plenty of things that can be done, but it takes a village. "The school plays a role in it, but it is a full facet of everyone in the community from family to churches to the school itself to provide information and to know the consequences those decisions can have for the student."

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