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Heroin use on the rise among Seacoast teenagers

A February 10 article from Seacoast Online shows that New Hampshire's Seacoast community is struggling with an ongoing heroin problem among both adults and teenagers.

According to the source, police arrested two teenage brothers from Portsmouth High School last week who were allegedly selling heroin, methamphetamine and other hard drugs to their peers. This incident comes shortly after a 22-year-old Portsmouth resident died of a heroin overdose and an Exeter mother - carrying her 3-year-old child - was arrested after selling narcotics to undercover agents.

Although it's difficult for some people in the area to comprehend that local residents - particularly teenagers - are using and selling hard drugs, police have warned of their prevalence since 2011 when the Portsmouth Herald suggested that increasing crimes and medical emergencies were linked to a surge in heroin use.

Keith Dominick, a doctor at Pediatric Associates of Hampton and Portsmouth, said that many parents seem to have the mentality that their children couldn't possibly be using hard drugs. Portsmouth Police Captain Mike Schwartz added that with the internet providing instant access to sources who provide drugs, it can be difficult for parents to remain aware of the activities their kids are engaging in.

To try to combat the issue of teenagers on the Seacoast using hard drugs, Sandy Rubchinuk, regional coordinator for Allies in Substance Abuse Prevention, suggests hiring a full-time drug counselor for Portsmouth High School.

"It makes a big difference. The student assistance counselors that are housed within the school are directly connected with at-risk students," Rubchinuk said. "They're also trained to bring evidence-based prevention programs to the school. When the school doesn't have that ... it often ends up as a missing link between the school and community collaboration because they lose that point person."

If you or your child has been accused of a crime like drug possession, be sure to enlist the help of an experienced New Hampshire criminal lawyer. These professionals can work on your behalf to ensure that your teenager doesn't suffer from a mistake like this.

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