Heroin Use Exploding in Suburbia

Surely not HERE?  That’s what suburban Chicago parents think when they hear the word “heroin.”  But according to Jack Riley, an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, there has been an alarming spread of teen use of heroin in our area.  An article in the Chicago Tribune in July reported Riley’s observation that “heroin has become cheaper and more potent in the last four or five years,” stating that a hit can cost as little as $10.

An earlier Tribune article last March on the surburban heroin problem included the shocking news that “Among Naperville teens, there was a 78 percent increase in felony drug arrests in 2011 over the previous year and a 450 percent increase in heroin arrests during that time.”  But it’s not just Naperville facing this problem, it’s all DuPage towns along I88, sadly termed “Heroin Highway” because it serves as a route for the drugs which come from Chicago’s west side.

Naperville parent Amy Miller, who lost her daughter to heroin last Winter, advised parents (see Article HERE): “If you are suspecting they are using drugs, do everything in your means, don’t be embarrassed like we were,” she said. “Don’t try to handle your problems by yourself. Do everything you can, contact everyone you can.”   The article has information on how to recognize the signs of heroin use, and also recommends, “Parents should snoop around and go into their kid’s rooms, check their phones, check their car, if possible get their Facebook password, said Pam Witt, a district 204 social worker.”

With Chicago the “heroin capital of the world” according to authorities, parents need to be ever vigilant about keeping an eye on what their teens are doing, and with whom they hang out.  Their lives may depend on it.