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Hooked on a New High

Teens are making heroin the drug of choice

By Mari Payton



Sherrie Rubin

Updated at 10:31 AM PDT on Saturday, Jul 3, 2010



San Diego teenagers have a new drug of choice, heroin, and it isn't just here, but across the nation. At one time teens preferred oxycontin, but Detectives with the San Diego Sheriff's Department say users are finding out that heroin is much cheaper choice that produces a similar high, and that high is producing a big low for San Diego families that are feeling the ill effects of drug use.

For 27-year-old Aaron Rubin, a night of wild partying changed his life and the lives of his family forever. Three years ago, Rubin, once a talkative, well-liked athlete, overdosed on oxycontin.

OxyContin Use (Published Saturday, July 3, 2010)

When Aaron's parents arrived at the hospital, they were told Aaron was going to die.

"We just held each other and fell on the floor and were screaming and crying," said Aaron's mother Sherrie Rubin.

Aaron was in a coma for 3 weeks, he survived several heart attacks and strokes. Finally he returned home - nearly three years after the incident. Now confined to a wheelchair, Ruben can no longer walk or speak.  He can only communicate using his hands, one for yes, and two for no.

Aaron started using pills while at Poway High School, his parents tried everything they could to get him to stop using. Aaron had been in and out of rehab. On that fateful night,  he relapsed after five months of being sober.

Aaron said a lot of kids in school used drugs. His drugs of choice included muscle relaxers and Vicodin. Detective Dave Ross says kids are starting earlier than before, some as young as 12-years-old.

"It’s predominately in middle-upper class areas, widespread through the areas of Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Del Mar, and Solana Beach," Ross said. The detective says the number of oxycontin and heroin related deaths are going up in San Diego County.

Aaron and his mother now speak to students throughout San Diego County telling them about the dangers of drug use and how it can change your life forever.

"It is undiscriminatory, it is everywhere, it is killing people everywhere," Rubin said.

Experts say both oxycontin and heroin addictions are extremely difficult to overcome. Detective Ross recommends at least 6 months of in-patient treatment. As for Aaron Rubin, his parents are hoping that someday he will be able to speak again.

Published at 10:15 AM PDT on Jul 3, 2010

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