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Mother shares cautionary tale of daughter’s heroin addiction with Niles North parents

Heroin use and overdoses have skyrocketed in the U.S., and to the shock of many parents in communities like the North Shore area, the drug, as well as other opioids, have infiltrated the least likely of places—the suburbs.

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PJ Newberg speaks about heroin use and opioid abuse at Niles North High School on March 22 at a Parent Advisory Council. After her daughter became addicted to heroin, Newberg started a campaign to educate schools and anyone who will listen about the spread of the addictive drug into the suburbs. (Natalie Hayes, Pioneer Press)

At Niles North High School, principal Ryan McTague said painkiller abuse among students is now more rampant than any other drug, and kids have been caught trading or buying pills between classes.

“As a principal this is something I’m very concerned about, because (opiates) are accessible in a way we’ve never seen before,” he said. “Sometimes we think it’s in some back alley far away from here, but to kids of this generation, it’s no longer seen as taboo.”

Glenview resident PJ Newberg—who said her 21-year-old daughter has been battling a heroin addiction that started when she was a 16-year-old sophomore at Glenbrook South—has taken on a mission to educate North Shore parents about the drug. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL ARTICLE