Deadly “Cheese Heroin” and Higher Crystal Meth Use in the News

Here are two news stories from this past week regarding teens, young adults and drugs that the public shouldn’t ignore.

“Cheese Heroin”
CNN had a story about a cheap and highly addictive drug that has killed 21 teenagers around the Dallas area in the past 2 years. The so-called “cheese heroin” is a mixture of black tar Mexican heroin and crushed over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol PM, that contain the antihistamine diphenhydramine. The drug is sold for as little as $2 for a single hit and has been described as a “starter form” of heroin. Concerned that this dangerous drug will spread to other regions of the country, Dallas authorities are working the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to raise public awareness of the drug and to try to stop traffickers. (Read the full story: Deadly $2 heroin targets teens)

Higher Crystal Meth Use Than Originally Reported
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that crystal methamphetamine use among young adults is actually considerably higher than previous surveys have indicated. During 2001-2002, 2.8 percent of young adults (ages 18-26) reported the use of crystal methamphetamine in the past year. This percentage is higher than the previously reported 1.4 percent annual prevalence of crystal methamphetamine use by young adults (ages 19-28) in NIDA’s 2002 Monitoring the Future Survey. Meth use was also associated with criminal behavior and risky sex, especially among women. NIDA’s study was published in the July issue of the journal Addiction. (Read NIDA’s press release: NIDA Study Suggests Crystal Methamphetamine Use in Young Adults Higher than Previously Reported)

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