The number of Indiana high school seniors who say they have shot up heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs has hit an all-time high, says a new Indiana University study reported by the Indianapolis Star. About 2.2 percent of 12th-graders surveyed admitted trying intravenous drugs, which users turn to for a more powerful high. That’s an increase of more than 25 percent from a year ago. While the overall head count of reported IV drug users is small, it shows “there is a subgroup of schoolchildren that are heavily into drug use,” said the university’s Barbara Seitz De Martinez. “If they are using heroin and other injection drugs, you don’t start off with that. You graduate to that over a period of time.”
IV drug use has been linked primarily to older adults, but drug counselors say more teenage addicts are showing up in clinics. Larry Henry estimates about 20 percent of his young patients at a drug treatment center in Indianapolis are addicted to IV heroin, cocaine, or OxyContin. The children, who come from all walks of life, find drug suppliers in urban areas and on college campuses. “I had a kid from Pittsboro, Indiana, using heroin every day,” Henry said. “Where do you find heroin in Pittsboro, Indiana?” Drug education in schools doesn’t include much about IV drugs, the use of which is a primary way to transmit HIV.