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Heroin Use Among Teens and Young Adults: Dallas, Fort Worth Suburbs Will See More Heroin Arrests as Popularity of Heroin Continues to Rise

Heroin is here, in a big way.  Heroin is a very popular drug among lots of young people for several reasons: this is a reality known to most Dallas area criminal defense lawyers, but only recently has the popularity of heroin use among middle class users become known to the public that doesn’t deal with drug crimes or drug arrests as part of their daily life.

heroin forms public domain

Heroin in powder and pill forms

Some are crediting the untimely death of TV star Cory Monteith with an increase in public awareness of the widespread use of heroin in the United States today – with many being shocked at who is finding heroin as an acceptable high these days.   The demographics of today’s heroin user is much, much different than in past decades.

In the past 10 years, the use of heroin among teenagers has skyrocketed. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), since 2002, there has been an 80% percent increase in the number of teenagers who have tried heroin. Many of these new heroin aficionados are from middle class or upper class homes or they are working in professional environments with an established career path.

As one of the stars of the FOX-TV show “Glee,” Cory Monteith was a white male in his early thirties and many experts report that Monteith provides the perfect example of today’s new heroin user: an apparently successful young white male who no one would suspect was using the infamous street drug.

Heroin Users Are Often Affluent, Middle Class Teenagers and Young Adults

In North Texas, black tar heroin is available from suppliers coming out of Mexico. So much black tar heroin (along with powder cocaine, methamphetamine, and commercial grade marijuana) comes through the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas that the federal government has designated the area as one of a handful of “high intensity drug trafficking areas” in the country.

Anyone wanting to get high can choose a prescription pain-reliever drug like Vicodin or Percocet or opt for much more frugal and economical alternative: heroin, a powder which can be sniffed or smoked (much like powder cocaine can be ingested or inhaled).

Heroin is cheap to buy and easy to use: and it’s apparently lost the social stigma that it suffered in times past. Today, teenagers and young adults don’t look down on using heroin. Heroin is popular and cool among many attending suburban high schools and local colleges and universities, where it’s known by nicknames like “Black Tar,” “Big H,” “Brown Sugar,” and “Dope.”

In the local area, “Cheese Heroin” (or “cheese”) has been reported as being popular among kids as young as 11 years old, as this combination of black tar heroin and ground-up over-the-counter pills (e.g., Tylenol) is snorted or sniffed. Last December, the Dallas Morning News did a feature profile of a Dallas middle school girl who began using cheese heroin during her school days when she was 13 years old.

In fact, the University of Texas at Dallas has its own Heroin Information page where students are given facts like long term use of heroin can result in heart infections, liver disease, and death — and a warning that heroin is “highly addictive.”

There’s also a chapter of Heroin Anonymous for the Dallas area with its own web page and branches serving both Dallas and Denton.

Heroin Arrests Are Targeting Heroin Users and Those Who Share or Give Heroin to Others

Texas law enforcement along with federal agencies are serious about illegal drug crimes and heroin charges can result in significant jail time under state and federal felony statutes. Those caught with heroin in their possession will be vulnerable to life-altering heroin drug charges, as well as anyone caught selling heroin (dealing illegal drugs is an even more serious crime under state and federal law).

However, sharing or giving heroin to a friend may also result in serious felony drug charges. Heroin is considered a serious crime by Texas police and federal agents. Anyone busted on heroin charges faces a serious battle and a life-altering situation.

Dallas criminal defense lawyers work with teenagers, young adults, and parents to try and keep children and teenagers and young adults from having their lives totally ruined by a heroin charge or heroin felony arrest.   Negotiations with prosecutors can begin early on in the case and the defense fight can continue through the sentencing phase and onwards through the appeals process.

For those facing heroin charges, an experienced Dallas drug crimes attorney is a valuable ally especially when they are young and with their whole lives ahead of them – and their futures at risk.   Sadly, more and more teenagers and young adults are going to be defending against heroin charges this year and in years to come, because the heroin market isn’t going away and the authorities aren’t budging on their fierce stance against heroin use.

Case Result Example:  Dallas 2nd Degree Felony Heroin Distribution Case reduced to Class “A” misdemeanor – Mr. Lowe’s client was arrested at Dallas Love Field in possession of heroin. Mr. Lowe convinced Dallas County District Attorney’s office to reduce a 2nd Degree Felony Drug case to a deferred adjudication on a Class “A” misdemeanor. Mr. Lowe’s client will not be supervised by probation and will be able to seal his record upon completion of probation.  For more, see Case Results section of the web site. 


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