High Schools Saying Cheese, But DEA Disagrees

By Anna Schecter

Jul 3, 2006 9:36am

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) headquarters in Washington is still claiming that the use of "cheese," a concoction of heroin laced with Tylenol PM, is not on the rise, but high school drug counselors in Dallas are saying otherwise.  Kids as young as 11 are getting hooked on this snortable high, according to Michelle Hemm, Clinical Director of the Phoenix Academy of Dallas. “We’re definitely seeing an increase,” she says.    A 14-year-old cheese user at the Dallas Phoenix Academy told ABC News that her classmate sold it to her. "All the teenagers in N. Dallas are on it. Thomas Jefferson High School is the main school," says a 16-year-old also at the Phoenix Academy. "They don’t sell it in lines. They’re known as ‘nicks,’ which are five dollars, and ‘dimes,’ which are 10 dollars." At prices that low it’s no wonder so many youngsters are getting mixed up with this amalgam drug. A Safe and Drug Free School Counselor told Hemm recently that she has so many kids on cheese that she could fill Hemm’s facility. Referrals are predominantly Hispanic, although there are Caucasian youth in the facility who have tried cheese. The 16-year-old user explains that the students buy the tar heroine off campus, mix up the cheese at home and then sell it at school. Police say that the heroin comes across the border from Mexico and eventually falls into the hands of teenagers and preteens on school grounds. 

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