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home : latest news : latest news November 20, 2014


1/24/2014 6:00:00 AM
Heroin use on the rise
Scott Orr/Daily Courier Prescott Valley Police Department Sgt. Brandon Bonney explains the rise in heroin use among young people in the quad cities at Wednesday’s Lunch ‘n’ Learn presentation.
Scott Orr/Daily Courier
Prescott Valley Police Department Sgt. Brandon Bonney explains the rise in heroin use among young people in the quad cities at Wednesday’s Lunch ‘n’ Learn presentation.
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - Heroin is becoming the drug of choice for young people looking to advance beyond prescription drug abuse, Prescott Valley Police Sgt. Brandon Bonney told an audience yesterday afternoon.

Speaking at a MATForce Lunch 'n' Learn event, he said there's a tie between prescriptions such as Vicodin, which is an opiate like heroin - and users frequently believe there's less danger in using drugs like Oxycontin than typical "street drugs," because a doctor supplies them. From there, heroin is an easy leap.

Users are making that leap at least partially because law enforcement has been so effective in cracking down on prescription drug abuse, Bonney said.

"What's happened is, (prescription drugs have) become less affordable than heroin," he said. "It's much easier to get... and much stronger than most of what people are getting in the pill form."

A detective with the Partners Against Narcotic Trafficking (PANT) task force, who asked not to be identified, said, "Just about 99.9 percent of everyone I spoke to said they started up (heroin) because of prescription pills."

It's highly addictive. "You don't shoot heroin for two years, then wake up one day and say, 'Wow, that really sucks. I'm done with it,'" Bonney said.

And heroin is also a very dangerous drug.

"There are a lot of drugs that you can take that are harmful, but if you take a lot (of them), you're not going to die," he said. "If you take too much heroin, you will die. It's that simple."

The problem is that users are never sure how potent the heroin they buy really is, and too much is lethal.

Heavy users are at risk because they are always using more, looking for a high once they begin to develop a tolerance, Bonney said.

"Youth right now is big into heroin... right now, we're running into people that are 17 to 24 years old" who are using, the PANT detective said, as compared to a decade ago when it was typically used by people 35 to 55 years old.

Bonney said stiffer penalties won't fix the entire problem. "The best solution is to try to stop people from using it" in the first place.

"Heroin has existed in this area for a very long time," he said, and stopping it won't be easy. "If you have a drug that people want, there's going to be a pipeline to bring it in."



Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy




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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, June 07, 2014
Article comment by: none none

I am a reformed meth addict, who quit on my own with no ones help. just one day decided I didn't want to live that way and changed it so for anyone to say that heroin addicts have to go to rehab that's ridiculous.By the way graduated top of my class while in high school, addicted to that drug and heavily abusing it, then went on to graduate college at the top of my class and now have a pretty cushy job. What I am saying is anyone who can't quit when they choose is just week, and needs to look at the choices they have made and maybe re-evaluate what really got them hooked, if it was the gateway drugs or their low ambition to succeed.

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014
Article comment by: The Addict is to blame...

@mystic soul...you nailed it. You said it all...the addict is the source to blame. The taxpayers should not have to pick up the tab for the addicts ignorant decision.

Now addicts are allowed to scam the taxpayers out of millions of dollars hiding behind the diabilities act for their self-inflicted addictions and can collect SSI and Food Stamps. Talk about ripping off society!


Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Article comment by: J S

Summer of 2005 I was home in Prescott for the summer and ran into a friend that I had grown up with. He, like many of our friends, did heroin and wanted to quit. But he couldn't because there was no outpatient treatment center in prescott and he knew if he quit heroin he would be too sick to go to work and couldn't afford to miss work. He was so upset when we were talking about it that he was crying. So I spent that day calling around trying to find an option for him. The closet outpatient clinic I found was in Flagstaff and I called and spoke to a women who worked there. I told her about my friend's situation and she said there was was not option for him in Prescott BECAUSE THERE WAS NO NEED FOR IT.... I remember being in tears and telling her that she was wrong... and here we are now..

Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Article comment by: mystic soul

this has turned in to a p****** contest. How about this, everyone has an opinion. Some are dumber than others. Recovering addicts will defend it because they cannot take responsibility for his/her own actions. They have to blame the "drugs" gateway or not.... abuse counselors.... of course... defensive. Thats the name of the game. The users of Pot who have been successful cant prove it because its so "taboo"..... BLAME BLAME BLAME. The ONLY ONE TO BLAME IS THE USER WHO MADE THE CHOICE TO USE. You didnt HAVE to use pills because you smoked pot, you didnt have to shoot heroin because you did pills. YOUR FAULT. THE GATEWAY IS THE INDIVIDUAL WITH AN ADDICTION PROBLEM. Put the blame where it belongs. Not on the community, the cops, the drugs, the laws..... PUT IT ON THE ADDICTS.

Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014
Article comment by: Alive and Thinking

I would venture to guess that every heroin addict has eaten ketchup at some point in thier lives. Perhaps, ketchup is the ACTUAL gateway drug.

Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014
Article comment by: Tom Bowden

You encourage a drugs are OK culture, you cannot really be surprised by the result, unless, of course, you aren't very smart.

Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014
Article comment by: To Serve Mankind

The gateway is illegality. Both on the Schedual 1. When you tried to scare the kids about pot, they looked at their environment and can know 'Refer Madness' is BS. Unfortunately, they also can think heroin is the same.

The 17 to 24 year olds will be 35 to 55 one day and the cycle begins again. However they acquired the addiction, they had to work at it. Subtle stuff, just when you think you can do a chip on occasion, you are on the way. That's what it does, makes you rationalize and while you stupidly think the hook is not being set.

The threat of additional criminal penalties will never be considered. It just don't matter. However it is done, these folks need medical help. The drug war is about the least effective method of controlling the disease vector. Fix the illegal pot problem, which would and generally separate kids from connecting to the heroin networks.


Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2014
Article comment by: Brain Disease

I gotta tell ya, those of you defending marijuana or any addictive substance are providing a dis-service to our young people. There is no way to predict who will become addicted, or who will have the grace of bypassing addiction. As deadly as addiction is and especially with heroin so available, the marijuana argument is causing greater confusion to our young and vulnerable. For many, marijuana is a gateway drug: in that the individual has altered brain chemistry affecting executive decision making, therefore, moving on to the next drug. The key word is always "impairment". A Substance Abuse Counselor

Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2014
Article comment by: Kiss your kids tonight

The "war on drugs" begins with all of you kissing your little ones tonight and telling them how special and amazing they are.

And then, continue to do it every night.


Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2014
Article comment by: jen g

Pot is not a gateway drug. No I dont smoke it , I dont like the feeling. People who are bored or in pain mentally are always going to look for a high or rush to mask the feeling. Weed has gotten expensive and stays in ones system to long. Coke is hard to find and you have to keep using quite often to stay high. Crack is looked down upon as the worst drug. Meth used to be everywhere and cheap but not anymore. Designer drugs are outlawed so not around much. So that leaves Horrible heroin. Which I have never tried and never had the urge to ever. Why? It takes you down fast. You get horribly sick without it and yes you can die detoxing,you end up sharing nasty needles and yes there are hiv positive people here and hepatitas c.. You can get a nasty infection or mrsa. Your veins collapse and you get to have your limbs amputated. If you od you die as your friends will steal your stuff and leave you there instead of calling for help. Its horrible.

Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2014
Article comment by: @ get a clue people

I have tremendous respect for your recovery. Great going. However, before you throw around the ' ignorant' card, please look within first.
I am a college educated working professional, happily married family man. I have also smoked pot regularly for 15 years. I have never, not once, craved other drugs. Never even tried 'em. If I run out of a stash (which happens) I don't experience withdrawals, cravings, any urges to try anything else, or any other symptoms. I have never 'gatewayed' to anything else, especially heroin.
If that's been your history, or others' in treatment, don't blame the pot. I submit that those with addictive personalities would go down that road physiologically, pot or no pot. To claim that pot affects everyone the same way is, well, ironically ignorant on your part.
Many of us are fine with it and don't advance to other drugs. I don't even smoke tobacco (although I do enjoy the occasional brew).
Again, I wish you well on your recovery. But use is not abuse, and addictive disorders are unique to specific individuals, not to all users of pot.
If you truly don't believe that's the case to the rest of the world outside of an addiction treatment group, then you are the ignorant one.
I wish you well. Peace.


Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2014
Article comment by: Get a Clue People

Some of these comments are actually pretty interesting and comical to read. Those of you commenting on whether or not pot, prescription drugs, or anything else are not gateways to heroin need to learn about it. I've been in recovery and have worked in the treatment industry in this town for years and the FACT of the matter is that nearly each of the heroin addicts (and most of the addicts are by far heroin) start with pot, progress to prescription pills, smoke heroin and ultimately shoot heroin. I am a recovering heroin addict and have the same story of progression. The hundreds of different heroin addicts that I have worked with also have the same story. You can all say what you will about whether or not pot and/or prescription pills contribute to the progression to heroin, but like I said before, they do, FACT. I certainly do not defend anyone dealing drugs but with respect to the addictive nature and the 99.9% starting with pills, the cop is spot on.Reading the ignorance from some is humorous.

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: Robert Dawg @ some guy / m soldier

Now that we have an ever growing poulation of herion addicts, "law enforcement" will have their hands full and generously funded I might add, arresting, fining, and improsoning all the addicts that fall off the wagon. Better yet, I am guessing that since it cost some $ 3,500 a month to reside in one of these Halfway Houses, the pockets of thier sponsors are quite deep and will pay whatever it takes to keep their kids/loved-ones from wearing a new orange wardrobe.

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: Robert Dawg @ some guy / m soldier

Its all part of Preskits Master Plan!!! It is only a matter of time before Sheila Polk and her Storm Troopers are not going to be able to fill her jails with or fund her probation programs by arresting pot smokers. Like it or not, pot will become "legal" in this state. Fortunately, Preskits "Planners" have feathered their future nest by looking the other way and letting our town become Rehab Central.

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: Mr. Bean

All drugs, whether prescription or illegal have a side affect, so, let the druggies use all they want, eventually it all catches up to you. Now we all know why so many youths like the "Zombie" movies.

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: Prescott Slogan

Come for the rehab, stay for the relapse!

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: We Could Have Lost Rush Limbaugh!

My heart skips a beat when I think about how Rush Limbaugh lost his hearing and nearly his great mind because of his admitted addiction to Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. In a six month period he illegally got four doctors to prescribe him 2000 pills! His mind got so altered by these drugs that he forgot that he once said on the air that Before his addiction became known, Limbaugh had condemned illegal drug use on his television program, stating that "Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country... And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up."

Where would America be now if Rush had not settled this prosecution, paid his fine, gone to rehab, given up his guns for 18 months, and reformed himself? With Rush voiceless in prison, we might have gone Bolshevik, or worse!


Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: LE Supporter

Come on Reed, you know exactly what he meant by that. Seems you are the only one trying to use the statement to stir a pot or two though. No correction or apology necessary Sergeant Bonney. Thank you for trying to help and for keeping us informed..

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: curious citizen

When will the DC print all the news.?
Do you really think that not publishing the overdoses and deaths by herion keeps people from triyng or using this drug? I dont think that policy serves the public very well. I think if people see and read about the very real things that can happen to users. it will be of service to the community.
I believe that hiding all this info just makes it worse. How can parents know what what is happening in the community as a whole? I know what my kids sre up to ,but what about that secondary ring of friends, the ones your hear off but rarely see, the parents that are never around..to busy to look closely at the kids and said friends..
I think if tbe community knew how very bad its gotten here , maybe something could be done. The Od's , the deaths, the ugliness of what a body goes thru...
and in the end what it fies to famlies and communities.
Look at the rehabs and the failure rate.
I am concerned that we are members of the stick your head in the sand movement. What will it take to change your policy?
Not reporting all the news means lots of inaccurate info is spread around town. Please do not think that the word will
not get around about these sad situations. Trust me, it
already does....Please change this policy.


Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: Thanks alot DEA is absolutely correct

The opium harvest this year is one of the largest as was the harvest last year. Before our invasion opium crops were at their lowest.

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014
Article comment by: Thanks alot DEA

Maybe cus the U.S.A. now has the opium fields in Afghanistan under control?

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014
Article comment by: Food for thought

Nicotine is a lot more addictive than heroin, and a lot easier to find, and cheaper to buy, and more socially acceptable to use, and still people stop smoking on their own, for reasons of their own, ALL THE TIME, but drug warriors want you to believe that heroin users don't do the same. On the other hand, while pretending that illegal drugs are so highly addictive that once you start you can't possibly stop, they also pretend that all they have to do is tell people to stop and they will. To put it politely, it's a bit contradictory, don't you think?

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014
Article comment by: nikki sixx

The drugs follow the junkies. In this town of rehab we seem to have an endless amount.

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014
Article comment by: Doctor Bob

As dangerous as this drug is,it's not even close to alcohol and tobacco.Why does someone need a drink to be sociable?

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014
Article comment by: Bevan Gottlieb

Thank you M Soldier. Summed it up nicely. The End.


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