PONTIAC (WWJ) – Having seen a dramatic increase in the number of cases involving heroin, the Oakland County Sheriff’s office will be teaming up in the coming week with other law enforcement agencies to host a seminar aimed at educating the public on the dangers to teens.
According to Sheriff Mike Bouchard heroin use has increased 300 percent in the last year, and that’s on top of an increase in usage the previous year.
Among the biggest things parents can do, according to Bouchard, is to look for changes in behavior with your kids.
“No longer interested in something they used to be passionate about, whether it be sports, or reading, or something, a dramatically different appearance,” said Bouchard. “Different friends and circles, whatever it is, a parent needs to tune in and really get involved quickly when you see that.”
Bouchard extended a warning to parents: don’t mislead yourself into thinking that this issue only exists in certain geographies, certain economic classes, race or gender.
“All parents with young kids should be concerned and tune in immediately if you see changes in behavior.”
Bouchard says heroin use often begins as a replacement for prescription drug abuse.
” … and when that supple runs out, whether it’s mom and dad’s medicine cabinet or grandparents … the young people go to seek (durgs) on the street, then what you find out is that the pill costs more than heroin, so it becomes almost an economic thing as well and that is what triggers a lot of the overdose, because the purity or strength of herion is eighty or ninety percent,” said Bouchard.
The awareness event is planned for Wednesday night at the Oakland County Commissioners Auditorium.
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