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The Intranasal Heroin Epidemic Among Latino Adolescents in Texas: They're Calling It "Cheese."

Poster presented at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) annual meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 14-19, 2008.

Carlos F. Tirado, MD (University of Texas Southwestern, TX Node), Jane C. Maxwell, PhD (University of Texas Austin, TX Node), Bryon H. Adinoff, MD (University of Texas Southwestern, TX Node).

This poster has three aims: 1) to provide data on trends in intranasal heroin use in Texas; 2) to describe the rapid increase in the use of intranasal heroin (aka "cheese") among Latino adolescents in Dallas, Texas; and 3) to describe the clinical characteristics of cheese-heroin use. Treatment Episode Data (TEDS) for the entire State of Texas and Dallas County were analyzed for the period between CY2005 and 2007. Preliminary descriptions of individual cheese-heroin use, including method of manufacture, self-administration, co-administration with other drugs of abuse, and cultural mitigating and exacerbating factors were derived from clinical interviews with cheese-heroin users. Analysis of the TEDS data for users under 19 showed the following: 1) a 6-fold increase in percentage of admissions for intranasal heroin use; 2) a trend toward younger age at time of admission; 3) a sharp rise in the percentage of Hispanics admitted for treatment; 4) a slight rise in the percentage of users reporting IV drug use. Clinical interviews with cheese-heroin users revealed that most cheese-heroin manufacture is conducted by individual users. Individual cheese-heroin users and their peers are nearly universally averse to IV drug use. Cheese-heroin users routinely mix heroin with other drugs such as benzodiazepines, cocaine, and antipsychotics, a combination that is regarded as stronger and more dangerous than preparations using over-the-counter sleep and cold medications. (Poster, PDF, English, 2008)

Keywords: Adolescents | Cheese heroin | Heroin | Hispanics and Latinos | Minority groups | Opioid dependence | College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) annual meeting, 2008

Document No: 300

Approved by Carlos Tirado, MD, University of Texas, TX Node (9/3/2008).

Adinoff, Bryon H. search
Maxwell, Jane C. search
Tirado, Carlos F. search
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