Addiction Prevention Coalition News


Sandor Cheka wants every parent to be concerned about drugs on campus at schools.

Cheka's organization works with students to learn about drug culture at schools and to develop anti-drug messages.

“Often times, what we hear about is someone starting with prescription drugs," Cheka said.

Prescription opiate drugs are in the same family as heroin and they produce the same high.

"What we're seeing is kids starting because they think it is a safe high," Cheka said.

He says it's not safe. People can and do die from opiate overdose. 

Last year, the coroner's office says 74 people died in Jefferson County from prescription opioid overdoses. That's the highest overdose rate for that drug in the past 10 years.

Cheka says what can develop from teenage prescription opiate abuse is scary – addiction.

"And eventually they get to the point where they can't go to the doctor and get them or they can't get them from friends and family, so they turn to heroin." Cheka said.

"When I started sitting on the bench  seven years ago, I would see a few heroin cases here or there, so much so that I would say "oh, my god, it's heroin." Now 95 percent of the cases I see are heroin cases where I'm seeing young people addicted to heroin," Judge Shanta Owens added.

In 2015, there were 97 deaths from heroin in Jefferson County.

"If you suspect your child, especially if they are under the age of 18, has a problem, act on it," Cheka said.

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