Friday, December 21, 2007

Good News About Cheese

A highly addictive heroin mix that swept through several Dallas schools last year appears to be losing its grip on students, at least while they're on campus, reports the Dallas Morning News. Dallas school police are reporting a sharp drop in arrests related to "cheese" heroin. Just 15 students were arrested this school year through November, down from 71 last year. The demand for treatment for kids hooked on the deadly mix of black tar heroin and crushed nighttime cold tablets hasn't decreased much. "It's slowly spreading through the different age groups and parts of the city," said Deputy Chief Julian Bernal. "We were seeing some pretty big spikes, but they've leveled off."

Hispanic youths still account for the majority of cheese users, but Bernal said his officers are catching more white and black kids with the drug. Area law enforcement and health officials had feared that the addictiveness of cheese and its cheap price, about $2 a hit, would aid its spread. The drug, which got its name because it resembles ground parmesan cheese, is suspected in the fatal overdoses of at least 24 teens who were 18 or younger in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 2005. School Police Deputy Chief Gary Hodges attributes the drop in cheese arrests on campuses to a public information blitz that involved educating parents, students and teachers about the dangers of cheese and how to detect users.

(h/t Crime and Justice News)

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