News Story


Thousand Oaks/ Community Forum - Prescription Drugs and Heroin
9/22/2011 9:23:00 AM


Nature of Incident:

Community Forum - Prescription Drugs and Heroin

Report Number:

(RB #)


(Newbury Park High School - Performing Arts Center

456 N. Reino Road Newbury Park Ca.

Date & Time:

(Tuesday, September 27 - 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Unit Responsible:

(Thousand Oaks Police Department Crime Prevention Unit

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (W)itnesses (D)ecedent

City of Residence












The Ventura County Sheriff's Office has had 300 incidents involving the use of heroin over the past four and half months.  Since mid-April to the end of August, 300 reports have been taken countywide. The county has seen 1 death, 13 overdoses and 286 arrests related to heroin. 


Of these totals, the Conejo Valley did not experience a death, but has had 5 overdoses and 99 heroin related arrests.  The statistics show that over 82% of those arrested were between the ages of 16 and 30 with 29% between 16 and 20 years of age.  During this same time there were two arrests of 15 year olds who were under the influence of heroin.  Heroin is in our community and our children are vulnerable.


Prescription pills and heroin abuse have increased in many communities throughout the United States.  Many of those who have become dependent on heroin started their opium addiction by using prescription drugs. In a recent Los Angeles Times article by Lisa Girion, Scott Glover and Doug Smith from September 17, 2011, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported for the first time that drug deaths outnumbered traffic fatalities in the United States.  The drug death total averaged one fatality every 14 minutes.


Many of today's commonly prescribed pain medications are derived from opium, which is the same natural plant material used to create heroin.  These medications can be easily accessible to our children as many of us have been prescribed pain medication in the past and have the leftover pills in our medicine cabinets.  These opium-based medications are highly addictive and once the user is addicted to the pills the transition to heroin is common given that heroin is relatively cheap compared to the prescription drugs and has the same euphoric effects for the user.



On Tuesday, September 27, a free community forum will be held at Newbury Park High School beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the school's Performing Arts Center.  Law enforcement, medical and behavioral health professionals, the Conejo Recreation and Park District, and CVUSD will host the forum that is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about this disturbing trend in our community. Any parents, who have middle or high school age students, and their children, are encouraged to attend.


The forum will have a panel of professionals to discuss issues we are facing and members of the community will speak about how prescription drugs and heroin have affected and changed their lives. The forum will also have several public and private resource representative available for those who may be experiencing problems associated with addiction.  These representatives will be available to meet with the community before and after the forum.


The Sheriff's Office would like to remind everyone there are Pharmaceutical Drug Disposal Bins located at our Patrol Stations.  The Thousand Oaks Police Department will also provide a disposal bin at the forum for anyone wishing to properly dispose any expired or unused prescription drugs and keep them out of our children's hands.  To learn more please visit


Deputy Preparing Media Release:

Sergeant Eric Hatlee

Media Release Date:

September  20, 2011

Follow-Up Contact:

Sergeant Eric Hatlee (805)494-8256

Approved by:

Captain Brent Kerr