A sign in Pearson's slideshow talking about heroin.
Another sign in the slideshow talking about peer pressure and the Gateway drugs.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Louisville Metro Police say teens abusing drugs are a problem and one that isn't getting any better.
90% of all adults with drug or alcohol problems started using before their 18th birthday and half of them even before the age of 15. It's these staggering statistics that have Lt. Rich Pearson with the LMPD Narcotics Unit speaking to parents and encouraging them to be on the lookout for substance abuse.
Pearson said the problem is happening in all high schools across the Metro, both public and private.
"A lot of time these kids will go to their grandparents' home and take a handful of pills," said Pearson, "they'll take them to school and share them with other people, either selling them or just handing them away and they are really hurting themselves because they have no idea what these pills are for."
Pearson said right now for teens, it's all about prescription pills.
"In their mind it was prescribed by a doctor, so it must not be a bad thing and they are taking pills that are really, really messing them up," said Pearson.
With certain pain killers becoming harder to find, Pearson says heroin is making a big come-back.
"The prices of these drugs went through the roof," said Pearson. "People just couldn't afford them anymore, so they switched over to a cheaper drug, heroin. It gives them a strong intense high for a lot less money."
Police say the majority of home break-ins and thefts are drug driven. Pearson said parent involvement is a big step in making sure your child doesn't become involved in a life of crime.