Battling Heroin Use in Simi Valley

A number of young adults have died from heroin overdoses in Simi Valley over the last few months.

By Gordon Tokumatsu and Julie Brayton
|  Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012  |  Updated 6:14 AM PDT
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A number of young adults have died in Simi Valley over the last few months, victims of heroin overdoses.  What can be done to stop this disturbing new trend?

Gordon Tokumatsu, Hernan Vazquez

A number of young adults have died in Simi Valley over the last few months, victims of heroin overdoses. What can be done to stop this disturbing new trend?

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Many people moved to Simi Valley precisely to get away from big city problems.

"Who didn't want to move to Simi Valley?" said Melissa Seibers, parent.

But Seibers, and many others like her, have learned that there is no escape from drug problems. Her daughter, Lyndsay Cook, died of a heroin overdose at 22.

Last year, 14 people died of overdoses in Simi Valley.

"Every time I see it, I think to myself, that could have been me," said Michael Cook, parent.

Cook's son is one of the lucky ones.

At 23, Travis Cook is now a US Marine, but his dad remembers when his son's habit could have killed him.

"We actually would find him in the bedroom, using," Cook said.

Parents have banded together in the enclave of middle and upper-middle income earners to tear the shroud of secrecy away.

Two factors are fueling the heroin "epidemic" in a place like Simi Valley, according to drug experts. Kids start with prescription medicines raided from parents cabinets, but then they move on.

"Heroin is a lot cheaper and a lot easier to get," Cook said.

On Monday night parents and residents attended a city council meeting at Simi Valley to make a strong statement. They want the problem fixed, before somebody else dies.

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