It is always unfortunate to see ideally promising young people waste away – or have their lives brutally cut short – because of drug abuse. This is why governments and communities are constantly developing means of fighting it, especially among the youth.
A report on RGJ.com shares the efforts of the city of Reno, Nevada, in combating the abuse of a specific illicit substance: heroin. Teens and young adults, according to city authorities, do not seem to realize the danger of using heroin, and how addictive the substance is.
One proof of this is the fact that the rate of heroin use among young people in the city has increased significantly. According to Dave Evans, Reno Deputy Police Chief, arrests for people under the age of 20 increased five times between 2006 and 2009. Heroin-related arrests went up from 3 percent in 2006, to 18 percent in 2009.
Reno Mayor Bob Cashell described the heroin of today as different: “We’re not talking about the heroin of the ’70s… Today’s heroin is more pure, and it’s cheap. Kids are buying it with their lunch money.” A balloon of heroin, according to narcotics detectives, costs $10 or thereabouts on the street.
The mayor, the Reno Police, and the school district have joined forces with Join Together Northern Nevada in a public awareness campaign regarding heroin abuse. They are aiming to raise $25,000 for a TV ad as part of the campaign. David Quint, executive director for Join Together, shared that the goal of the campaign is to provide parents and young people with tools as well as warning signs, in the hope that knowledge will prevent more young people from succumbing, and losing their lives, to heroin addiction.