Plano, Texas: A Community’s Struggle with Drugs

Ten years ago heroin hit Plano, TX like a deadly tornado, spawning addiction and destroying lives in its path, said writer Linda Stewart Ball.

“A spate of fatal heroin overdoses sounded the alarm and thrust the assumed ‘safe’ suburb with its low crime rate, big houses, and excellent schools into the national spotlight,” she said. “Although a decade has passed scores of people are still dealing with the repercussions, the damage done in heroin’s wake.”

One recovering addict, Andrew Cox, remembers when he was broke and desperate and needed a few bucks for another quick fix.

Trolling a department store’s parking lot for an easy mark, the teen’s eyes locked on a woman’s purse in a shopping cart, reported Ball.

He landed in the Collin County Jail, wrote Ball.

Cox, now 27, says he’s alive to tell about it because of what happened next, writes Ball.

“The young junkie called his dad from jail to bail him out,” she stated.

But Dad wouldn’t do it.

In retrospect Cox told Ball his dad was smart.

“It was the toughest thing we ever had to do, “said Cox’s mom, Sandy Cox in a recent interview.

Andrew, the son of a schoolteacher and child psychologist, said in an article that he grew up in a loving and supportive Plano home.

Heroin gripped his body in a way that nothing else had, he revealed.

“I didn’t know how to stop,” he said in the article. “It was luck or coincidence or God.”

By the time his parents caught on, it was too late, according to Andrew.

Early attempts at drug rehab failed, the family stated.

Older and wiser, Andrew said he loves his life now, research shows.

A recreational user, Jason Bland snorted black tar heroin at a party on night in 1997.

Bland, then a senior at Plano Senior High School wound up in a coma at Medical Center of Plano, according to records.

The heroin slowed everything down, including his body’s ability to get oxygen to his brain, the doctor said.

Today Bland’s mind is quick, according to his family.

Through will and daily arm and leg strengthening exercises Bland can use a walker and ride a three-wheeled reclining bicycle, physical therapists say.

At 27 he has studied management information systems at Collin County Community College but he is still dependent on his parents, a report states.

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