Heroin for the Masses: The Reality of “Cheese” Abuse in Texas

The origins and popularity of “cheese”—a unique form of black tar heroin melted with crushed sleep aids in the Lone Star State.

heroin-addictCody Jones started using drugs during his freshman year of high school. Like so many young Americans, his road to substance abuse began with a seemingly harmless hit of marijuana and expanded from there to cocaine, then Xanax, then opiate pain medications—a precursor to more serious drug abuse. A lot of drug literature calls marijuana the “gateway drug,” but it’s actually pharmaceutical painkillers that lead to more serious drug abuse cases.

“When I was 16, I broke my shoulder and started using hydrocodone, oxycodone, and Percocets,” Cody tells The Fix. “And everyone around me at the time was either snorting heroin or shooting it.”

In the wide-ranging suburbs of Dallas, Texas that Cody called home, heroin has a strong hold on the community. With everyone else doing it, Cody gave in to peer pressure. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened next.

“We don’t get powder down in Texas. All the powder is up North or on the East Coast. All we get in Texas is tar that comes from Mexico, and there is plenty of it.”

“The first time I tried heroin, I shot it up and there was no turning back,” Cody recalls. “I loved it.”

To support his drug habit, Cody started selling a street drug called “Cheese,” a unique kind of heroin primarily sold in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area. “Cheese is black tar heroin melted down like you’re about to shoot it up,” Cody explains, “but instead, you mix it with a crushed up sleep aid” such as over-the-counter medications Simply Sleep, Tylenol PM and Dormin. Read more “the fix”…




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