According to an article written by the LA Times, the heroin use in Glendale and La Crescenta is rising as LA based gangs make their way into these suburbs and educate and give away the drug to users who are “at risk”of addiction and overdose.
Per the Glendale Police, all drug related offenses that were investigated in the Crescenta Valley during the month of January were attributed to heroin.
This comes at a time when a variety of factors is leading the nation’s youths and young adults into a dangerous love affair with opiates and other drugs like ecstasy, inhalants, meth. The factors are as disparate as prescription drug legislation and the geopolitical climate that affects Afghanistan (the source of much of the world’s heroin). The global economy and the United State’s proximity to Mexico also have an influence on this “perfect storm” for heroin overdose (read an article about Three Unlikely Partners in Crime: Afghanistan, Mexico, and Prescription Drugs Manufacturers).
Why is this relevant to our StopOxy.com blog? If you are paying attention to the opiate epidemic and the rash of overdoses in the U.S. you will see that many of the heroin overdoses were by users who “graduated” to smoking and then shooting heroin after getting hooked on pharmaceutical drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Heroin overdoses have moved into the suburbs of middle and upper class neighborhoods… a reflection on the middle class high schooler’s attraction to using “pharmies” like OxyContin and recreationally.
Just because the end result is a heroin overdose, doesn’t mean that heroin is solely to blame. The point of entry is almost always more innocuous drugs like marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, or a “pill from my parents’ medicine cabinet.”
Police Chief Ron De Pompa of Glendale points out the connection to OxyContin in the L.A. Times Article: “With the rise of prescription pill use, some teens are also engaging in a trend known as “cabinet parties,” De Pompa said.
”Teens raid their parent’s medicine cabinet for opiates such as Vicodin and Oxycontin, and take them to the party, where the pills are dumped into a large bowl for communal use,” he said.
If you are a parent of a teenager then this concept of a cabinet party should alarm you. The potential for overdose at an event like this is very high… the potential for contributing to a developing opiate addiction at an event like this is ever present.
According to Nora D. Volkow, MD. The Director of the National Institute on drug Abuse, the best way to prevent drug abuse in your children is to address the problem at an early age. “In other words… be a parent” says Dr. Volkow. “Parents are incredibly important in raising drug-free kids, but in many instances they are not there or are not involved”
NIDA has posted a special page with information for parents on their website here: