If you have children, this may be one of the most disturbing stories you've heard in a long time. Heroin use is on the rise. Valerie Calhoun reports.
These are middle-class kids in the suburbs. And their parents have no clue. My information comes from the DEA, the DA, the police, a user and a father who lost his little girl to this killer drug. His job is to save lives, but he couldn't save his own daughter from the clutches of this drug. "It was a fairy tale childhood," says Ray Glover.
Ray Glover's daughter, Leslie, was a daddy's girl from day one. "She was mine...from day one. My little finger was the only pacifier she would take." But, By the time she turned 25, this
bubbly, vivacious, and beautiful young woman had a dark secret. She was hooked on heroin.
Glover says, "I never had a clue and she lived upstairs..."
Glover is a street savvy firefighter, stationed in South Memphis for 28 years. He can spot an addict a mile away, but he had no clue his daughter was hooked until it was too late. "My daughter was a beautiful girl and she had me bluffed, blindfolded. Never would I have ever thought she was using a drug like heroin."
Back in July, Leslie became ill. Leg pain, back pain, headaches. No one could figure out what was wrong. Glover says, "MRI shows nothing, X-ray shows nothing...they don't know."
On the way home from one of those emergency room trips Glover says Leslie suddenly became quiet. When he pulled into the garage, this trained emergency responder saw something that will haunt him forever, "when I rolled her over, I'd seen that look too many times...she was gone, I knew she was gone before I even started..."
He called 9-1-1 and did CPR. Leslie's was dead. Police searched her room and showed Glover evidence. 25-year-old Leslie Glover was hooked on heroin and her daddy had no idea.
"They showed me spoons, filters. I just thought I was street-smart, Val. I don't know a whole lot about anything."
Friends later 'fessed up, telling this grieving father that Leslie's physical pains were likely the result of withdrawal and caused her to crumble up and inject anything she could find for relief.
A friend, says, "I knew she was gonna do something. She was so mad (that) I took her syringe. That's the last time I talked to her. Six days later...it killed me."
This friend, we'll call Mike, is one of the people who supplied Leslie with heroin.
Glover says, "at first, I wanted to hurt him." Mike and Leslie grew up together. Friends to the end. "I know this doesn't sound right but I felt she was safer doing it with me than doing it with anybody else," says Mike.
Ray did not know he was supplying her but said he felt safe when the truck was at his house. But he didn't know what was going on. Mike says he wasn't around in that last week of Leslie's life and blames himself.
"It was when she would use with other people she ended up in the hospital or passed away. It killed me, it killed me"
Mike hit rock bottom. He just got out of rehab. He is sharing his story at the urging of Glover so other parents will know just how pervasive heroin use has become. "It's in our subdivisions, it's in Bartlett, Cordova, it's out in Arlington and, unless you are looking for it, it can be hidden really, really well," says Mike.
Heroin can be snorted or injected. It's an opiate and extremely addictive. "Once you do it...I mean, it 's the only thing you want." Mike says suburban kids are the ones doing "smack" now because it's cheap and easy to get. "It's easier for a 16-year-old to buy heroin than buy beer...a drug dealer not gonna card you. People offer you heroin like they offer you pot now."
The little girl who clung to her brave firefighter father for this calendar photo so many years ago is gone now. And, while this Veteran rescue worker couldn't save his own daughter, he shares his story in hopes of saving someone else's child.
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