On January 16, 2014, B.I.L.Y. presented the San Fernando Valley’s very first HEROIN KILLS SYMPOSIUM. About 350 parents and teens came together to learn the shocking truth about teen heroin use in the San Fernando Valley. Every 19 minutes someone dies from a heroin overdose in our country. It is one of the most easily accessible drugs for our youth in our nation today. In fact, it is as easy to buy as soda from a vending machine. It was held at 6:30 p.m. at the Granada Hills Charter High School, 10535 Zelzah Ave., Granada Hills, CA 91344, and it was free and open to all.
Jody Waxman joined B.I.L.Y. when her son was having behavioral problems and called her to tell her he was addicted to heroin. “I was one of those moms who closed their eyes,” she said, of her son, who is now 23, and in rehab.
Waxman, a Winnetka resident, had known her son had smoked pot as a teen. But she didn’t know how deep his drug addiction had sunk. “I didn’t really know he was into that,” Waxman said of her son. “I didn’t know about the heroin, until I got that phone call from him. The thing is with heroin, the dealers are giving it away to start, because once you do it once or twice, you’re hooked. I hope parents are smart enough to take this opportunity to come to this symposium and see what’s going on.” Read more in the Daily News Article.
The Symposium featured Councilman Mitchell Englander along with Paramedic Ray Schiller, Cary Quashen from Action Family Counseling, Dr. Jeffrey Abrahams from Northridge Hospital, Detectives Williams and Mosley of Devonshire Division, B.I.L.Y. parents with their current recovering heroin addicts and a mother who lost her child to addiction. Additional resources about recovery and counseling organizations were available.
CBS Local News has featured an article about the Symposium and the astronomical rise in Heroin use in the San Fernando Valley. According to a 2005 Los Angeles County Department of Public Health report, drug overdose was among the leading causes of premature death in the Valley and is the the top cause of premature death for white Los Angeles County residents aged 25 to 44 years old. Wall Street Journal and Consumer Affairs have also released articles.