How does heroin makes its way onto college campuses?

Updated: 04/02/2014 6:52 PM
Created: 04/02/2014 6:50 PM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts

There are still a lot of questions surrounding the death of a University of Rochester student. Sources close to the investigation say it was possibly heroin. Her father confirmed she died from a drug overdose.

Juliette Richard, who was a freshman, was found inside her dorm room at the University of Rochester over the weekend.

So how do drugs like heroin make their way onto college campuses and into the hands of students? Law enforcement officials say there isn't just one clear answer, but they say they are learning more about how this dangerous drug is being distributed. 

Heroin is a growing epidemic among young adults. What used to be a drug reserved for hardcore users is now becoming less taboo, making its way into the hands of young adults, many of whom are middle class. 

So where does it come from? In Rochester, law enforcement officials say the Thruway, connecting Rochester to other main cities like New York. The drugs often come to the city by car and then get distributed to dealers. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Department says the most common way people get heroin is on a street corner.  Michael Celento manages the Adolescent Chemical Dependency Department at Unity Health. He says the number of heroin addictions has increased by nearly a third in just the last few years. 

Michael Celento, Adolescent Chemical Dependency Department, said, “We typically admit between 55 to 60 young men a year. In 2010, we had one admission only that had an opioid diagnosis. In 2013, just last year, that number rose to 18.”

The university has scheduled a memorial service for Juliette Richard on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at the Interfaith Chapel. 

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