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Heroin Investigation Part 3: Teens Fight Battle of Their Lives

Updated: Tuesday, May 20 2014, 04:05 PM CDT

Known cases of heroin use among young people are on the rise, according to recent reports.

Newschannel at Nine spoke with three young heroin addicts in recovery to find out how they got hooked and what they're doing in their respective lives to recover.

Black tar, brown sugar, Big-H, china white, junk, scag, smack...no matter what you call it, heroin is a game changer.

"We had a talk, with this last relapse, your choices are jail, death or recovery and that's it," said Nancy, whose son is a heroin addict.

"There are no other roads to go down with this."

Her son, Wyatt, is 19 years old and a recovering heroin addict. She says he started smoking it when he was 16 years old. By 17, he was shooting up.

Wyatt said, "It is the single best, worst feeling you'll ever have in your life because you know how good it feels and then you realize, crap I have to do that again."

According to Dr. Steven Matson, who specializes with addictions, many young heroin users start out with opiate pain-killers like Vicodin and Percocet. Sometimes they're prescribed, sometimes they're not.

Pain pills are usually expensive; often pushing teens to seek out a cheaper alternative packing a similar high.

Dr. Matson said, "So they move to the heroin which is still pretty cheap, about $10 a dose compared to like $50-$60 dollars for a prescription drug."

The doctor says genetics and environment are two pivotal risk factors when it comes to teens and heroin addiction. But the drug has no boundaries and does not discriminate.

"Right after you do it, it comes over your whole body and your whole body just gets warm and relaxed and it's just like ... ahhhhh."

And, just like that, Holly says she was hooked. But her road to heroin use began years before.

"It was smoking pot, drinking, ecstasy, pills like painkillers, xanax, adderall."

22yo Holly comes from a family with a history of addiction problems. To her, smoking weed at 14 didn't seem like a big deal, but heroin, that was scary.

"A couple times when I had shot heroin, you get this feeling, I was so numb, I thought I did too much and was gonna pass out and die."

19yo Cody also knows that feeling. He spent the past year of his life chaing the heroin high until he hit rock bottom.

"With the marijuana, the alcohol and the other drugs, it was like a slow effect deteriorating my life. When I stepped up to heroin, it took everything from me in a very short amount of time."

"What are you feeling right now?"

"A lot of guilt, regret."

"Guilt, why?"

"Whew, just for the things the drug has made me do."

Cody says he lied to and stole from the people he loved the most.

"I went from being a very honest and loyal person to a completely horrible, dishonest person."

Wyatt, Holly and Cody all agreed to share their struggles in hopes of helping someone else realize that there is hope, there is help, and there is healing.

"I actually experience real emotions now. Even it its sad or angry, or good ones, happy and joyful, it's just real. It's not chemically induced."


Heroin Investigation Part 3: Teens Fight Battle of Their Lives


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