14 News Special Report: Heroin in the Hand of Kids - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

14 News Special Report: Heroin in the Hand of Kids

Posted: Updated:
  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Ex-prison employee pleads guilty to rape

    Ex-prison employee pleads guilty to rape

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:35 AM EDT2014-07-22 12:35:01 GMT
    A former Bell County Forestry Camp employee has pleaded guilty to charge of rape.
    A former Bell County Forestry Camp employee has pleaded guilty to charge of rape.
  • Police: Mom left child at pool, smoked crack

    Police: Mom left child at pool, smoked crack

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:34 AM EDT2014-07-22 12:34:04 GMT
    A Kentucky sheriff says a woman left her 9-year-old daughter alone at a hotel pool while she smoked crack cocaine in a hotel room.
    A Kentucky sheriff says a woman left her 9-year-old daughter alone at a hotel pool while she smoked crack cocaine in a hotel room.
  • Route 13 traffic shifted to new Marion overpass

    Route 13 traffic shifted to new Marion overpass

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:09 AM EDT2014-07-22 11:09:15 GMT
    Eastbound traffic is moving smoothly up and over the newly constructed overpass on Route 13 near the Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion.Crews started slowly shifting traffic onto the new overpass Monday night, and worked overnight to move barriers and temporary guard rails to help drivers navigate the new traffic pattern.Westbound lanes will also move onto the new overpass as crews continue work on the project.“Both lanes of traffic will use that structure until they get the adjacent structu...
    Eastbound traffic is moving smoothly up and over the newly constructed overpass on Route 13 near the Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion.Crews started slowly shifting traffic onto the new overpass Monday night, and worked overnight to move barriers and temporary guard rails to help drivers navigate the new traffic pattern.Westbound lanes will also move onto the new overpass as crews continue work on the project.“Both lanes of traffic will use that structure until they get the adjacent structu...

Of all the dangerous drugs, one in particular is on the rise among Indiana teenagers, especially in the Evansville area.

The Indiana Youth Institute says once any addict sobers up, the struggle to stay sober is a real issue. It's a struggle 20-year-old April Siebenurgen had to fight in high school.

Siebenburgen, or as everyone else knows her by, Nikki, is trying to find herself in the world, one step at a time. 

"It's really hard to do it when you're an addict though," Siebenburgen says. "When you have to get sober, you have to get sober from everything."

She struggled with many things in high school.

"That's when my addiction started and that's when I did not care at all," she says. "I partied a lot, got in trouble a lot cause I was driving, so and I would drive drunk or high it didn't matter. I didn't care as long as I got from point A to point B." 

At 16, she got addicted to pain pills, and by 19, she was hooked on heroin daily.

"I want to hate it really bad just as much as my mom does and everybody else, but it's really hard, really hard for me to," Siebenburgen says.

"You're always waiting for a phone call that she's dead or that she's in jail or that something terrible has happened, so it's kind of living on the edge," says Jennifer Tackitt, Siebenburgen mom. 

Tackitt says she found out about her daughters addiction, almost as soon as it started.

"It was devastation. It was absolute panic," Tackitt says.

Tackitt and Siebenburgen aren't alone though. Two percent of Indiana teenagers admit to using heroin, according to the Indiana Youth Institute.

"The numbers are up," says Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO and President of the Indiana Youth Institute.

Stanczykiewicz says heroin is cleaner than it ever has been, more readily available and cheaper.

"Heroin is dangerous at so many levels and especially more so for teenagers as that brain development is happening. Heroin negatively impacts the brain development and cognitive ability of young people," Stanczykiewicz says.

According to IYI, monthly heroin use among Indiana 12th graders is double the national rate.

"Heroin is a highly addictive drug. It is just too easy candidly to overdose on Heroin that you don't realize what you're ingesting and what it's going to do to you," Stanczykiewicz says.

After relapsing several times, Siebenurgen is four months sober. 

"A lot of families would give up after everything I've put my family through, a lot of them. A lot of people would just give up on them give up on whoever's using and I mean that happens. I'm sure if I keep relapsing, it's going to happen to me. I don't want it to. I'm not going to let it, never," Siebenurgen says. "They're everything. They're my support group. My mom big time. She's helped me through a lot. She's got me through it." 

"She chose to live, so that's a big plus. A lot of people don't make that choice, so she was the one that came and said, 'I don't want to die.' I won't give up on her," Tackitt says. 

What does it mean that heroin is cleaner? Law enforcement officers say it's more pure and potent.

As for Siebenurgen, she didn't finish high school, so she's working on completing her degree, and keeps busy working at a local beauty salon. 

She says she's at peace with her addiction and is striving for the day her cravings stop.

Some warning signs that you can look for in your kids are:

  • Kids who become overly detached more than just the normal teen
  • Kids who start stealing around the house
  • Those who aren't sure where their location is
  • Kids who are vague about who their friends
  • Reduction in school success
  • Different group of friends
Any warning sign in particular isn't cause for concern, but if you see several signs it's possible your child could be getting into drugs.

Copyright 2014 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.