'Cheese' Drug Coming to East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/6/2007-East Texas

'Cheese' Drug Coming to East Texas

East Texas schools are on notice Thursday for a dangerous, cheap drug targeted toward your children.

It's called "cheese," and it's already being blamed for 21 deaths in the Dallas area. Local law enforcement told KLTV they are sure it's coming, and that they are already watching out for it.

"Heroin is showing its ugly head again. It hasn't been here for years and years," said Smith County Sheriff JB Smith. 

JB, his entire department and other East Texas law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for "cheese".

"It is a given. It's going to be here eventually. It is something that law enforcement and the schools are on the lookout for," said Sheriff Smith. "It started in Dallas, where black tar heroin, which is the cheapest form, is mixed with Tylenol PM."

Even more disturbing is the ages of people dealers are targeting with this drug. Some as young as 12 years old.

"They are selling it for $2 a pop. They can take their lunch money and buy that," said Sheriff Smith. "The kid can do this all day long, go home, lay down and never wake up."

The drug, which is snorted, derives its name from a supposedly parmesan like appearance, though in reality it looks more like coarse sand.

"They are crushing it up real, fine placing it under their fingernails and, during class, put their fingers in their mouth," said Sheriff Smith. "A lot of fools try this stuff and don't know what they are doing. I hope our children are smarter than this."

So we went to TISD and spoke to Marie Nelson, the facilitator for safe and drug free schools. We asked what TISD is doing to inform parents and students about this drug. 

"We are aware of the drug. But at this point we have had nothing emerge about it," said Nelson. "I think it is something parents will be looking out for. And TISD will always be on the look out for any kind of drug. It is not that we are going to single that out as any one particular thing. We will be watching for all of them. Yes, we are aware of cheese and that will be one of the many that we will be monitoring."

Now none of the East Texas counties we called Thursday said they had seen "cheese", but they did say they're sure it's coming.

"The Tyler public, Gilmer, Longview, or anyplace in East Texas ... they need to have it on their radar. It is going to show up eventually and we need to know what we are dealing with," said Sheriff Smith.

Many local teachers have information packets about "cheese", such as how it is packaged, where students hide it and the symptoms of someone on "cheese".

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

 

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