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November 12, 1970 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-11-12

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Page Ten


Thursday, November 12, 1970 ,



Heroin finds new users among Ann Arbor youth

(Continued from Page 1)
street name for heroin) are in
the streets."

A brief inquiry in front
campus restaurant bears
out for it quickly leads
one reference to another
a junkie, a pusher or both
up, quite willing to discuss
respective positions in the
oin-using community.
For most middle-class

of a

tion or even limited use by stu-
Evidence from Pioneer a n d
Huron high, however, indicates
that there is a small but solidly
entrenched heroin-using com-
munity at the two schools.
One student at Pioneer says
he has been addicted for the
past five months and adds that
he personally knows four other
addicts at the school.
He says he became addicted
after school let out last June
but because of expenses a n d
fear of heavy addiction, he has
kept his habit at around $5 a
day. Even that relatively inex-

continuous use of heroin at
Tappan Junior High t h a n at
any of the others.
One teacher at Tappan spec-
ulates that if heroin use is, in
fact, higher there t h a n else-
where, it might be a result of
the high income level of t h e
neighborhood or the school's
proximity to the University ar -
Tappan, says another teacher,
has its share of a small b u t
growing problem. "We've found
needles in the johns," he says,
"and it's a fairly good bet that
there may be a half a dozen or

that spoons and syringes are
starting to rank high as status
symbols. Two students at the
school even claim to be addict-
ed, he says, "but I know them
well and I know they're lying."
He adds that heroin use has
increased rapidly in the past
three years "jumping from ze-
ro to seven or eight - that's
quite a leap."
Students who claim to be in
a "position to know" about
drugs at the other three junior
high schools report a similar
absence of real addiction and
fewer weekend users than at
Tappan. The high prestige ele-

the drug has lost its shock val-
ue. For those in the streets it is
not treated as an evil. It is not
exchanged in an atmosphere of
paranoia - in dark alleys be-
tween anonymous contacts. Her-
oin is instead dispensed among
street people almost as casually
as marijuana is among Univer-
sity students.
Ann Arbor's heroin - jones
- usually brings from $2 to $5
a hit, the pharmaceutical cap-
sule containing enough for
eight to 12 hours of pain-free
time for an adict or a three or
four hour high for beginners.
The casualness of those who
take it - whether seasoned us-
ers or not - is easily discern-
able when one finds street peo-
ple ready to talk about their ex-
periences and to display both
their collapsed and healthy
veins for passersby.
"Yeah, I'm junkie . . . I've
been strung out since January
and it's really far out," one ad-
dict admits.
Other street users invariably
seem to agree that heroin, use is
"far out" as long as it is in fair-
ly good supply. The reasons for
starting likewise vary little.
"I heard itwas fun, I like to
have fun, so now I'm having
lots of it," says one young user,
"I think you ought to t r y
everything once," another main-
tains, adding that "if you hang
around here long enough some-
body's going to turn you on ,to
One user echoes this, assert-
ing that at least trying it once,
"is inevitable around here."
Boredom, he adds, can also play
a part in prolonged heroin use.
"If you have to hang around all
summer, being high on smack
makes hanging around a lot
more fun."
"There isn't much to do in
Ishpeming (Mich.)," says another
junkie who left home for New
York when he was 14, "and I
finally found something worth
doing - no kidding, I think it's
worth it. There's just no better
feeling to be had on this here
earth and I highly recommend
it. "
Such recommendations have
reached the city's schools, brut
most officials agree with the
pusher's claim that the real us-
ers are in the streets.
Pioneer High Principal The-
odore Rokicki says, "We might
have a case or two" of occas-
ional usage by students. But he
adds that neither t h e school
nurse nor the school's full-time
plainclothes policemen h a v e
reported any evidence of addic-
For the student body:
* Genuine
Sizes\.34 to 46
State Street at Liberty

"There isn't much to do in Ishpeming (Mich.)," Says another junkie
who left home for New York when he was 14, "and I finally found some-
thing worth doing-no kidding, I think it's worth it. There's just no better
feeling to be had on this here earth and I highly recommend it."
su m m m e miae o m m o s a am e snas m m slislstlililsiiisssitsililisisiiiile~ii..isiis

students look down on heroin
addiction as "a pretty stupid
thing to get into."
A history teachers who has
been at Slausen two years says
he has heard of some part-time
use from "fairly reliable sourc-
es" but adds that it seems to be
confined to one or two people.
"If there were ever any ad-
dicts around," he says "they've
probably dropped out of school."
Forsythe junior high students
also report very limited contact
with heroin. Seventh grade so-
cial studies teacher Michael Al-
perovitz says that while he's
heard of one or two students
trying it, heroin remains a very
unpopular d r u g at school.
"What keeps them away," he
says "is news from the older
kids about O. D.'s, (overdoses)."
Joseph Vachon, principal of
Scarlet Junior High, says there
is "absolutely no evidence" of
heroin use at h i s school. A
search of all the lockers in the
school as a result of a bomb
scare two weeks ago produced
no evidence of heroin or any
other drug, he says.
Aninth grader at the school,
however, claims he and f o u r
other students have used hero-
in "a number of times" over the
past several months but have
since quit because of "lack of
Whether in high school or in
the streets there is the never
ending problem of obtaining
heroin. A user consequently
must find a steady source of
supply and the necessary money
to purchase that supply.
"Most of the stuff comes from

Chicago, Toronto or New York,"
one established user says. "We
usually get it from Chicago on
its way to Detroit. It comes in
huge loads but we get it in lit-
tle celephane bags about fist
Although some junkies claim
the Mafia is involved with the
Ann Arbor heroin market, po-
licemen and most heroin deal-
ers doubt the local market is
large enough to support direct
Mafia contact with the city.
It is generally agreed, how-
ever, that heroin is imported to
the U.S. by the Mafia and local
dealers assert that non-Mafia
middle men supply the smaller
suburban or middle-class areas
like Ann Arbor.
One small-scale dealer insists,
however, that the Ann Street

area near the Washtenaw Coun-
ty Jail is a "Mafia block.
They've got whole drawers full
of stuff down there and I don't
fool around with t h e m," he
Raising the money isn't as
easy as finding the supply. "I
get a lot of money from my par-
ents," one user explains, "but
nothing like the $300 a week I
need so I get it mostly by push-
ing h a s h and grass around.
Some people have to get into
stealing, of course," he adds.
"I don't rip off, myself, but
know guys that do," another
user claims. "Sometimes I find
myself selling stolen stuff but
most of our money comes from
the grass market. A lot of the
kids that aren't strung out on
expensive habits get along just
selling dope," he says.

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pensive addiction is beginning
to prove unbearable, a n d he
says he will quit as soon as he
can. His one-hit-a-day habit is
enough to prevent withdrawal
pains, he says, but it no longer
gives him a high.
Citing a problem common to
all high school ,junkies, he says,
"It's an enormous hassle to have
to chase down even $5 a day
and stay in school at the same
time. It's not much easier if
you drop out, but at least you've
got time to chase it." A large
number of addicts among the
street people are dropouts from
Ann Arbor high schools, he
He adds that weekend use of
heroin is far m o r e common
than is generally believed by
the s c h o o I administration.
"Jones" has taken the place of
alcohol and marijuana as a reg-
ular weekend diversion for more
than 30 students, he estimates.
Huron High, with about 1600
students - half the s i z e of
Pioneer - has at least two ad-
dicts, says one Huron student
who is a friend of them both.
The student says he is one of
15 to 20 who use heroin regular-
ly but not continuously, a n d
guesses that 50 to 60 students
there have tried it at one time
or another.
Heroin has also gained a foot-
hold among t h e city's junior
high school students although
the problem there seems to be
one of experimentation rather
than addiction.
An inquiry into the drug us-
ing communities at each of the
city's four junior highs reveals
a somewhat higher and more
genQ te
epties boto
, ece n-
buY o
v e

so k i d s shooting it on week-
Tappan students generally
concur with the teacher's esti-
mate of heroin use at the
school. One ninth grader who
says he has taken heroin "off
and on" since the beginning of
the summer says there are sev-
en or eight "weekend shooters"
and there may be 20 or 30 stu-
dents in the school who have
taken heroin at one time or an-
T h e prestige element moti-
vating heroin use also is very
strong, the student says, adding

ment attached to the drug also
seems to be noticably lacking
in the other junior highs.
Three ninth graders at Slau-
sen Junior High who claim to
deal most of the drugs in the
school say heroin use there is
almost non-existant.
"I know of two guys w h o
snorted (sniff heroin through a
straw) once," says one, "b u t
most people here stick to grass."
A black student who describes
the school as "about as close
to an inner-city school as there
is in Ann Arbor" adds that while
other drugs are fairly common,

(Continued from Page 7)
Further information on these grad-
uate programs available at Career Plan-
ning, 3200 S.A.B.
National Medical Fellowships, In c.:
I financial assistance programs for stu-
dents from minority groups currently
underrepresented in medical profes-
Hospital Administration, School of
Public Health, U of M, Mr. Wm. Dowl-!
ing is discussing program with inter-
ested persons duirng Nov., 414 City
Center Bldg., 220 E. Huron. Call Mrs.
Litle for an appt.
Yale University grad. and Profes-
sional Schools, offer graduate study
opportunities for minority group stu-

Univ. of Denver, Graduate School of
International Studies and Soc. Sci.
Foundation. International Relations
Grad Fellowships for 71-72.
The Johns Hopkins University, Fel-
lowships for Grad Study in Interna-
Harvard Medical school, opportuni-
ties in medicine for minority students.
News from the NAVY, about the
Judge Advocate General's Corps Stu-
dent Program, an alternative to com-
pleting your military obligation be-
fore entering law school.
State of New York, beginning level
professional jobs in many areas. Test
applications due Nov. 15 for p a st
grads and Dec. grads. Pick up appli-
cation and booklet at Career Planning.

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