Saturday, October 16, 2010

HEROIN USE AMONG TEENS





"THE INVESTIGATOR," SANTA BARBARA NEWS-PRESS, DECEMBER 6th, 2008

Dear Santa Barbara Teen,

Heroin is about as cool as a mortuary at two in the morning. It kills. Sometimes it kills real fast--especially if it is bad heroin. One of your fellow teens died recently from bad heroin. It came from a dealer here in town. The dealer is out there still, looking for more takers. He will sell it again, the bad stuff, and maybe you, too, will die.

Sure, you're a teen, and you like to take risks. But with heroin the odds are so stacked against you, even the dumbest compulsive gambler wouldn't bet on your life, whatever the odds. And with bad junk, you have no chance at all. You won't even know it was bad, because you won't wake up to find out.

And if you die from an overdose, or because the heroin you shoot is cut with ground glass, sand, brick dust or rat poison, you'll be gone from this world forever, total finality. Those you leave behind--your loving family members and friends--will suffer deep emotional scars the rest of their lives, your legacy.

So don't just say no, do the right thing for yourself and your friends: Tell the dealer to go junk himself--and send The Investigator his coordinates.

Dear Parents of Teens,

Drug abuse among Santa Barbara teens has transcended marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines and escalated to heroin.

A local therapist who specializes in adolescent psychology hears all the sordid details, weekly, directly from teens, about how they and their friends--possibly your children--are addicting themselves to heroin.

The therapist, who spoke to The Investigator on condition of anonymity, says she knows of at least twenty male teenagers--some as young as 16--who are smoking or shooting heroin, or mixing it with cocaine to inject "speedballs." These teenagers attend a cross-section of Santa Barbara schools, public and private, most belonging to the highest level of affluence in our community.

"I am listening to the personal stories of young men using heroin in Santa Barbara," this therapist told The Investigator. "They report to me the thrill of obtaining and using it. It starts with an invitation to add it with marijuana to smoke in a joint. Eventually, they increase their use until they're injecting it. They experiment further by allowing themselves to hang upside down by their ankles, having so-called friends inject them. I heard another horror story this week: A young man went to his dealer's home and injected heroin, overdosed, his heart stopped; non-using spectators watched as the dealer put ice cubes inside his rectum to bring him back to life."

This therapist also hears from family members of heroin addicts. "Parents explain to me that money is requested on a continual basis, lies are more common than truth, and excuses professed in abundance. Working out, school attendance and work-related jobs no longer exist. A young man may report he went surfing, or that he went to the club and worked out--all in a preconceived plan to gain parental approval and a good opportunity to ask for more money. In this way, he learns to manipulate the people he loves to keep his primary relationship--his stash of heroin--in place. Nice objects around the house may begin to disappear. Money may be missing from wallets."

Sgt. Dave Henderson, who heads the Narcotics Unit at the Santa Barbara Police Department, told The Investigator: "The heroin being dealt in Santa Barbara is the black tar variety from Mexico. Typically, Hispanics are dealing it. Some of the heroin going around is gang related." Sgt. Henderson confirmed, "A younger crowd is getting into heroin."

Stefan Gonzalez, of the Counsel on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in Santa Barbara, told The Investigator heroin was surpassed in Santa Barbara around 2001 by methamphetamines. But it has made a comeback among younger people."

Parents, you like to think this problem belongs to the children of others, not your own; many of you go into denial when confronted with information about your children's use of drugs or alcohol--a stance that encourages their deeper descent into danger. One parent of a 15 year-old Montecito boy asked The Investigator for proof that her son is engaged in stealing alcohol for himself and his friends; he had purloined a one-liter bottle of Beefeater Gin from a private residence.

"Why don't you start with your son's MySpace profile," we told her. "You'll find a photograph of him and his friends partying with open bottles of booze, captioned 'F----- up'."

"Parent denial is typical in these situations," confirmed the therapist. "And if they're not in denial, they say things like, 'I don't want to confront my son because I don't want him to run away and end up on the street'."

This is a wake-up call, parents. Pay attention and take a tough stand. Or you may find yourself visiting a morgue at two in the morning.

The Investigator will happily name dealers and drug-takers, minors included. We welcome such information and shall keep the identities of tipsters confidential.

Dear Heroin Dealers.

On Nov. 11 Santa Barbara County Sheriffs booked Matthew Reimel of Carpinteria into County Jail for possession of tar heroin.

One down.

We know that Fred from Montreal, about 55, 6 feet-2 inches, blond ponytail, is dealing heroin. Fred, please leave town; we're onto you.

We've heard this street buzz: "You want drugs and don't have a dealer? Go to Rainbow Park, the bleachers, between 3-6 p.m."

If the police haven't figured it out, this informs them.

With or without the cops, The Investigator is watching. So keep looking over your shoulder, scumbags, we'll be there eventually.

FOLLOW UP:

Drug Dealer Exposed: A 16 year-old student at Santa Barbara High School who uses the AIM Instant Message call-sign prettyboyconn claims to deal drugs to everyone, and admits the following: "I deal at school, everywhere... weed and coke, thizzles (ecstasy), anything..."

Young, indiscreet prettyboyconn claims that he acquires illegal drugs from his 23-year-old godbrother, whom, he adds, "runs Santa Barbara County. He supplies all the medical clubs. I have the best bud in town."

Prettyboyconn further states that he makes so much money "it's not even funny."

He offers cocaine at $20 for "six or seven lines."

And if that isn't quite enough, prettyboyconn also reveals that he keeps his stash in a basement safe at the family home.

The buzz around Santa Barbara schools is that prettyboyconn does indeed engage in drug dealing.

The Investigator deeply considered this matter before outing prettyboyconn as a self-admitted drug dealer. We even consulted a local therapist, who offered this view: "If he writes these things in e-mail, he's not even good at this. He should be exposed for his own good--and for the good of those using the drugs he sells them. It is also a serious matter for his parents. If illegal drugs are found in their home, they will be held accountable. Teens like this, who earn so much money from selling drugs, find it difficult thereafter to face an hourly wage in the real world. Since he is only 16, it will eventually be expunged from his record, so now is the right time for him to get caught. Because, at 18, it's going to stick, and if someone is still dealing drugs at 21 they're a fully fledged member of the criminal underworld."

To parents: Crack down on your teenagers or we will do it for you.

To teenagers dealing drugs: We are watching in ways you cannot even imagine.