Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Parents meeting near Broadmoor learn more about students' heroin use

CARLYN RAY MITCHELL Updated: February 2, 2010 at 12:00 am

In a church off a quiet street lined with mansions near the Broadmoor, parents Tuesday night discussed the horrific heroin addiction that has gripped some of their children.

The 30 parents were brought together by Peak Addiction Recovery Center, a nonprofit, residential treatment facility that has had at least one Cheyenne Mountain High School grad between the ages of 19 and 21 in its care at any given time in the past year, said CEO Mike McKelvey.

“If money could solve this problem, we wouldn’t all be sitting here tonight,” he said.

The drug problem at Cheyenne Mountain High School and other local and national high schools is no secret.

In 2008, 26 Cheyenne Mountain students were found to have used some form of heroin, the most popular being black tar heroin, a cheap, pure form of the drug pumped into the community by Mexican nationals and dealt by other students, police said.

Tuesday night, a panel of experts from the legal and addiction recovery fields took turns presenting their takes on the problem and possible solutions.

The cultural acceptance of teen drinking and marijuana use, successful marketing strategies of dealers, parents being too afraid to talk to their kids about drugs or look through rooms or text messages regularly were among the possible causes offered for the heroin problem at the school.

The one across-the-board solution offered? Parental involvement.

Lisa Kirkman, a drug court magistrate, advised parents to take a strong and clear approach with their children, saying, for example:

“You don’t get to exercise the Fifth Amendment at home. You get to talk. We don’t walk away from things. You don’t have the right to protection from search and seizure.

“I am your parent, and I will look and do whatever it takes to make sure you’re safe,” Kirkman said.

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