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Special Report: Heroin in the Suburbs
SPECIAL REPORT -- It's considered one of the most dangerous illicit drugs on the market. Still, that hasn't stopped heroin use from surging in the Miami Valley. According to police, popularity among suburban teens has skyrocketed, and it's becoming more difficult for authorities to keep the drug out of the hands of your kids.
"It's scary to think that heroin has become the drug of choice," said Regional Crime Lab chemist, Jennifer Watson
Move over marijuana, there's a new high trending. Heroin has been growing more and more popular within the past few months alone, predominately among teens and young adults.
"It is pretty scary to think that could be the new gateway drug," said Centerville mom, Christy Rudwall.
And it's not just an inner city drug. Police agencies in suburbs across the Miami Valley, from Tipp CIty to Kettering say they're busting users left and right, many times during routine traffic stops.
"It seems unstoppable in some ways because people who wouldn't normally try it, try it because it's cheap and then they can't get off of it," said Tipp CIty Police Det. Chris Graham.
"I think we're surprised at how it's come on and stayed," agreed Kettering Police Officer Ron Roberts.
According to Regional Crime Lab, the dope surge started in 2008. Since then the number of cases the cops submit has tripled. In fact, last year alone, more than half of all cases that passed through the lab were heroin related.
"It's very concerning. They don't know what they're getting into," said Denise Rankin with the Crime Lab.
"It doesn't discriminate, location or age. And certainly has become more popular with the younger users," Watson said.
Which is why it's so important to talk to your kids right now about staying away from the stuff before they try it, and get hooked.
"It is pretty scary. Having an older daughter who's 17, I know this is an experimental age," added Rudwall.
Police in the suburbs and the city say they're working to get heroin out of your neighborhood, but add, the battle doesn't appear to be ending any time soon, with the cost of dope continuing to drop.
To learn more about the signs of heroin abuse and treatment options, we've set up a link to the National Institute on Drug Abuse under News Links.
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US employers add 175K jobs despite harsh weather
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. hiring improved in February from the previous two months despite a blast of wintry weather, likely renewing hopes that growth will accelerate this year.
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