I attended the presentation on Black Tar heroin at the high school on May 29th, the speakers were Officer Jackson from the Grandview police, and the parent of a Worthington Christian High School graduate who died of a heroin overdose on May 11th of this year.
The police showed slides of the drugs, and they played YouTube videos about the effects of drugs. They talked about the increase in use of heroin in the county. Although the drug is used in the poor parts of the county, the big increases are in middle and upper income areas. They didn’t get into the specifics of how drug dealers operate, it sounded like the article I read in the L.A. Times was similar to the way things are done here. It’s not a “dealers with guns selling on corners” like the Wire TV show, it’s very low key, secretive, relatively low price product. If you see something that looks like a drug deal on the streets of Grandview, you are probably wrong.
If you sat through a dare program as a kid in school, you have the general idea about the police presentation. I don’t know why they still do the “alcohol and marijuana lead to heroin” bit. It’s factually true that people who do heroin start with those drugs, but it’s not true that children who use alcohol and pot axiomatically move on to harder drugs. This is not supported by the statistics, or the experience parents had in their own drug use when they were young. There is some support for a relationship between Oxycontin abuse and heroin, the police should go with that and stop the “reefer madness”.
A parent spoke about the death of their 21 year old son, just 2 weeks ago. It was heartbreaking to hear of a young man who was well liked, active in sports and the community, who became addicted to Oxy, then heroin. He went into a treatment program, suffered through withdrawal, and on the 19th day of his treatment was allowed to go home. The next day he scored and died of an overdose. It was a devastating story, the nightmare of any parent. My condolences to the family.
I can’t help but think back though, to something D. Steven Allen, the former superintendent at Grandview said about kids with drug problems. “People who are using drugs (and their parents) tend to think that everyone else is doing it also, so their anecdotal evidence is not useful”. The parent who spoke this evening had the same conviction about widespread drug abuse, and suggested that all parents should be drug testing their kids for all drugs, all the time. That’s not going to happen. Most parents would consider themselves failures if they needed to constantly test their kids.
I think that same attitude of “not my kids” resulted in the low attendance. It’s hard to tell who was there as a concerned parent, but I’m guessing no more than 15 were at the meeting. One parent stood up and said “how will we make this a serious issue in the community when so few parents are here?” To answer that question, my guess is that preventing heroin use will not be a big issue until a kid dies in Grandview. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. I think most parents have the same attitude.