Pubdate: Thu, 31 Aug 2006
Source: Morris Daily Herald (IL)
Copyright: 2006 Morris Daily Herald
Author: Jo Ann Hustis
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Heroin)


"Once They Get That First Hit, They're Going To Chase It Forever."

WILMINGTON - It's called "chasing the dragon."

"Once they get that first hit, they're going to chase it forever," 
noted local Deputy Police Chief Michael Boyle.

"And then they'll try even more. Maybe start out with snorting it, 
then go to shooting it to get more of a high.

"That's why they go to different levels and different drugs. They're 
chasing that dragon - they're going after that feeling ... again and again."

Wilmington police made another drug arrest early today in their 
crackdown on drugs during which heroin, cocaine, numerous pills, and 
cash was seized.

Christopher White, 22, 34353 S. Lakeside Terrace, Wilmington, was 
cited with two counts of possession of a controlled subject, a Class 
4 felony, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wilmington Police Chief, Lt. Wally Evans, said White had .8 grams of 
cocaine in his possession, along with two hits of heroin and about 50 
pills, some identified as Vicadin.

Police also confiscated $848 in cash and White's vehicle.

The arrest followed a report of a suspicious person at the apartments 
on 130 S. First St. When police arrived, they saw White enter his 
vehicle and hide a pill bottle.

Evans said White has a prior record of at least four arrests for 
dangerous drugs, and is a person of interest in drug trafficking.

Interestingly, the chief said, White was seated in the front row 
during the community's first public forum on drugs Aug. 22.

"We have a serious problem," Evans said Wednesday.

Illegal drugs are in every facet of society - rich, poor, in-between. 
Every age. There are no fences.

Boyle's oldest son, at age 15, is just weeks away from getting his 
driver's license. His dad will still practice the same routine when 
his son comes home at night.

"When my son walks through the front door, I give him a hug - 'How 
you doing, Buddy.' And he knows exactly what I'm doing - I'm checking 
him for alcohol and drugs," Boyle said.

"This is what a parent has to do. You don't just allow your child to 
walk into the house and go to his or her room.

"What's the first thing you're going to do as a kid when you come 
home and you've been drinking or stuff. You want to sneak into your 
room. I give my son a hug and check his breath. You can do that in a 
matter of seconds. You can look into their eyes and see if their 
pupils are dilated or constricted."

Alcohol on the breath is easily detected by smell, Evans said.

On the other hand, he noted, heroin users have a three-to four-hour 
high, which leaves no immediate detectable after-effects.

"You take a youngster who has to be home by 11 p.m., and they do 
heroin at 6 p.m. By 9:30 to 10 p.m., the effects of the heroin will 
be wearing off, and they're going to go home and mom and dad will 
have no clue this was actually taken," Evans pointed out.

A heroin user can function normally on the drug, Boyle said.

"Basically, all it does is give you a feeling. Some kids describe it 
as a wonderful feeling. You lose track of two to four hours, and you 
don't have a care in the world," he added.

"Somebody comes up to you and says, 'I'm going to give you something 
that takes away all your cares, and you're going to feel great. 
Here's what you take. Aw, c'mon. I do it. It's awesome.'

"You think, 'This person says I'm going to feel that good? Sure, I'll 
give it a whirl.' But, they don't realize what's going to happen 
after they do it the first time. It's like crystal meth - crack 
cocaine. You don't know it the first time you do it you're hooked."

Statistics by the National Drug Institute indicate 314,000 youngsters 
ages 12 and over used heroin in 2003.

"Twelve-year olds on heroin just blows me away," said Evans. "In the 
age groups of 12 to 17, it absolutely surprised me more females used 
heroin than males. I thought it would be males. Once you get into the 
older age groups, though, it's the males."

Mark Shell, co-owner with Denise Issert and her husband, Rick Smith, 
of the Mar Theater in Wilmington, and parent of what he says is a 
household of girls, has the answer.

"It's quite simple. It's young girls trying to impress older guys. 
Peer pressure. These peer groups are all intermixing. The 
14-year-olds to the 22-year-olds, to the 25-year-olds. They're all 
intermixing, and it's very unusual, in my opinion," he noted.

Parents should ask themselves why their 14-year-old is mingling with 
the 21-year olds, said Shell.

"As the parent, you have to find out what the problem is," he added. 
"You have to know who your kids are hanging around with."

Boyle pointed out the axiom, you are no better than the company you keep.

"If your kid is hanging around with a certain type of individual, 
they are labeled as that. If they're hanging around with someone who 
steals, eventually more than likely they're going to get involved in 
something like that," he said.

"You hear names of kids involved in drugs - well, if you're child is 
involved with that kid, they're either a druggie or they're on the 
way. If they're hanging around with these people, this is their peer 
group - the people they look up to. So inevitably, what's going to happen."

"That's why parents have to get involved. They have to know who their 
kids are hanging around with," Boyle added. "You're known by the 
company you keep. I've heard that since I was a child."
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