Hooked: Seattle High School Battles Heroin Addiction

Nearly 50 Students Addicted at Stanwood High School

ByABC News
October 19, 2010, 12:21 PM

Oct. 19, 2010 — -- Officials at Stanwood High School outside Seattle are fighting a bigger battle than just making sure their students graduate. They're battling heroin addiction.

Nearly 50 students at the school are hooked on heroin. Abigail Achison, 17, dropped out of Stanwood and gave into the drug.

"After the first time, I was completely hooked," Achison told ABC affiliate KOMO. "Some people start out slowly with other drugs. I just did heroin once and I couldn't stop."

School officials and community members organized a town hall meeting Monday to raise awareness and rally around their teens.

"It's all of our problem," Lloy Schaaf, assistant superintendent of the Stanwood-Camano School District, said. "We all need to own it and we all need to do something about it."

The problem of heroin addiction in Seattle is a growing one. A middle school janitor was found earlier this year with 60 bags of heroin. Two other dealers were arrested weeks later near a suburban soccer field in Seattle.

"When you start going to the schools and school events; you go back towards the bleachers ... you used to find little empty bags of marijuana," Drug Enforcement Administration agent Bradley Cheek told ABC News in March. "Now you are actually finding the glassine [bag] stamps on the ground."

The drug's affordable price and increasing accessibility help its popularity among teens, experts say.

Kids can buy a small bag of heroin for as little as $5. That's cheaper than a movie ticket or even a six pack of beer.