White House drug czar John Walters visits Dallas today to learn about the battle against “cheese” heroin, a potentially lethal form of the drug often targeted at teenage users, says the Dallas Morning News. Walters will meet with a regional task force of local law enforcement, public health, and education officials to learn more about a drug that has been linked to 23 student deaths since January 2005.
Although cheese, a mix of black tar heroin and over-the-counter cold or sleeping pills, does not seem to be in use much beyond Dallas, the drug czar wants to find out what the federal government can do to help keep it from spreading. Debbie Meripolski of the Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, said, “This problem is out of the ordinary.” She plans to stress is the need to maintain or increase funding for treatment programs. “There is a very short supply of adolescent treatment facilities in Dallas,” she said. “We’re short of treatment resources everywhere.”