special investigation unit - Macomb County office of Substance Abuse

Prescription Drug &
Opiate Abuse by Youth
Lt. George T. Rouhib Jr.
Fraser Department of Public Safety
September 16, 2010
 Kids were experimenting with marijuana,
alcohol, inhalants, and tobacco products.
 There was a stigma regarding heroin use.
 Deaths involving drug overdoses were
 Today, prescription drugs are part of our
 Because of this, our youth are more
exposed to pills and are not afraid to
experiment. It is accepted behavior.
 Many start abusing their own medications
including Ritalin, Adderall, and other
prescribed drugs.
 Peer pressure has increased-Risk taking-
 Snorting Pills
 Many children suffer from depression and
low self esteem that results in drug use.
 The most common prescription drugs that
are being abused are Vicodin, Oxycontin,
Lortab, Suboxone, and Xanax.
 The use of prescription drugs that are opiate
based are linked to heroin use and addiction.
 Our youth are ignorant when it comes to drug
 They are unaware of purity levels, addiction
propensity, changes in their physical demeanor,
and the fact that when other drugs such as
fentanyl are mixed with heroin, it can be a
deadly combination.
Why Heroin?
 Cheap ($5 for a bindle-Cheaper than a six
pack of beer).
Readily Available (Networking)
Purity Levels (Greater today than it was
years ago).
It is first introduced to them in the powder
Instant “rush” when injected.
 Many youths will first begin to snort heroin.
 Once they build a tolerance level, they will
inject it. Typically they will obtain syringes
from their local drug dealer or will
purchase them at the corner store.
 Use their vehicle or their parents.
 Today, many are using the bus as a
means of transportation. By using the
bus, minimizes the chance of being
stopped by the police, operating while
under the influence of drugs, and the
possibility of having their vehicle seized.
 Drug dealers are using the bus and
meeting kids at the mall.
Operation Smack Down
 Why created?
 Operation Smack Down was a multi-
jurisdictional effort to reduce the number of
drug traffickers and users that are involved
in the sales and possession of heroin.
The members consisted of law
enforcement officers from the federal,
state, and local levels.
Operation Smack Down
 It took approximately six weeks to gather
intelligence on the heroin traffickers. This
was done by surveillance and controlled
heroin buys.
 In 2007 and 2009 over 150 law
enforcement officers participated in the
three day task force.
Results of SmackDown
From the three day event in 2007 and 2009,
the following transpired:
Search Warrants: 37
Vehicles Seized:
Heroin Seized:
137 grams-685 packets
Many other drugs were confiscated
2009 Statistics
 76 individuals were arrested from the
following communities.
 Algonac, Centerline, Chesterfield Twp.,
Clinton Twp., Commerce Twp.,
Eastpointe, Fraser, Harper Woods,
Harrison Twp., Macomb Twp., Mt.
Clemens, Richmond, Rochester Hills,
Roseville, Royal Oak, Shelby Twp., St.
Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, Utica,
Warren, and Washington Twp.
2009 Stats
 Males Arrested:
 Females Arrested:
Smack Down-Unusual
 Several youths were purchasing heroin, and
pulling over on the freeway to inject it.
Several individuals drove to fast food restaurants
and injected in the bathrooms.
A professor, nurse, honor students, and youths
who had scholarships were arrested.
One mother drove her son to the drug house
because she had no idea what to do.
Several of them swallowed the heroin prior to
being stopped by the police.
What We Learned
There are no boundaries to this drug.
Heroin does not discriminate
This is a national problem
Drug dealers are a lot smarter than we think.
(Advertise, lookouts, constantly move their
product and money)
 Use abandoned homes, street corners, and
juveniles to sell their product.
 From the experience, approximately 95% of the
time our youth are obtaining heroin from Detroit.
Parents Responsibilities/Red Flags
Be open with your child. Know where they are
and who they are hanging out out with.
If you suspect drug abuse, do not be afraid to
get immediate help. Many parents are
embarrassed and will close their eyes and
hoping the addiction will go away.
Look for paraphernalia that is associated with
drug abuse such as syringes, orange syringe
caps, burned spoons, burned bottle covers,
packaging such as tin foil, lottery tickets,
magazine ads.
Parents Responsibilities/Red Flags
 Look for changes in personality, hygiene,
and falling grades.
 Money, other valuables, spoons, or
prescription drugs missing
 Unexpected arrests such as retail fraud,
larceny, and home invasion.
 Check for bruising on the arms
 Non-Profit Organization that educates and
supports individuals who are struggling with drug
addiction issues.
 Website: FamiliesAgainstNarcotics.org
 Contact : 586-438-8500 or email at
[email protected]
 Families Against Narcotics meetings – 3rd
Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Christ
United Methodist Church, 34385 Garfield Road,
Fraser, Michigan.
Lt. George T. Rouhib Jr.
(586) 294-8902
[email protected]

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