Should Parents of College Students Be Informed of Heroin Addiction?

The heroin epidemic is gaining more and more attention as noted in our previous blogs. iStock_000016880944SmallAnother heroin overdose of a college student in Massachusetts is getting national exposure, due to the circumstances surrounding the death. Not only was the college student a heroin addict, but he was also an active informant for the school. The one caveat to his informant status was that his parents would not be told of his heroin addiction and arrest.

Should Parents of Students Be Informed of Heroin Addiction?

The Boston Globe reported, that when Logan – a 20 year old junior was busted for heroin at UMass Amherst last October – the campus police agreed to keep his arrest a secret – from his parents. The UMass college police agreed to not inform Logan’s parents of the heroin incident if he became a narc for the school. Logan agreed. The campus police agreed not to seek criminal charges against Logan or notify his parents after he agreed to become a confidential informant. Logan had a a code name of CI-8 which he texted to a friend saying it was an offer I can’t refuse. In December 2012, Logan turned in another dealer to campus police who was arrested and suspended.

Parents Discover Son at School Dead

It must have been heartbreaking for Logan’s parents when they arrived for Family Week,  and found their son lying on his dorm room bathroom floor – dead. A needle and spoon were in close proximity to his cold lifeless body. Logan was attending UMass on a scholarship and was also a star hockey player.

Logan’s parents did know that he had been arrested for cocaine possession 2 years earlier, but it is not known if he had attended drug rehab or not. They were not aware that Logan had been caught selling LSD and the club drug Molly about 12 months before he was found dead of a heroin overdose. Normally an offense of this nature would cause a student to be suspended and have their parent’s informed. This was not done in Logan’s case due to his informant status.

Should Parents Be Informed?

The Boston Globe reported that Logan felt a tremendous amount of guilt as a result of becoming a police “snitch,” and that he was trying — and failing — to give up heroin on his own during the last year of his life.

Logan texted to a friend on March 4, 2013, “I’m gonna have to tell my parents really soon I’m a heroin addict and that’s why I can’t come back here . . . and presumably go to rehab, ”though he apparently never followed through; he couldn’t bear the thought of going through withdrawal. On the night he died, Logan frantically texted his dealer who was driving from Hartford: “My veins are crying . . . is the traffic gonna be bad?”

We Are As Sick As Our Secrets

One of the first things we learn in recovery is that we are as — sick as our secrets. Although we can not be sure that Logan would still be alive if his parent’s had known of his heroin addiction; we do know that he would have had a better chance.

Before Logan’s heroin overdose, the last arrest for heroin on the UMass campus had been in 2008. The police say they spend far more time tracking down students who are abusing alcohol. The Globe interviewed several UMass students about the use of heroin on campus. One student said that it’s everywhere and so easy to get that it’s ridiculous. The new epidemic of white suburbia middle class heroin addiction is still making its self known. Hopefully Logan’s death will shed new light on the severity and availability of heroin on our college campus’s today. Heroin addiction is a deadly secret to keep.

Balboa Horizons is a top young adult addiction treatment center that specializes in the treatment of opiate and heroin addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin, please call us today for help. 1(866) 316-4012

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