LAS VEGAS -- A heroin epidemic is hitting the Las Vegas valley.
Narcotics detectives say rampant prescription pill abuse has addicts seeking a stronger, less expensive high, leading them to heroin.
Even more disturbing is that police are seeing more high school students shooting up, and the addiction may start in your medicine cabinet.
Narcotics detectives say heroin does not discriminate. Kids all over the valley, both rich and poor, are addicted, and they all have access.
Detectives say addiction starts off as innocently as popping a pill.
Colin McRae is what most people would call a pretty good kid, a spectacular athlete and student.
However, by age 17, he started spiraling into a pill addiction.
"My life pretty much revolves around these pills now, you know? It is the most important thing in my life," McRae said.
Soon, he could not get the high he was looking for from pills. Colin quickly transitioned into heroin and dwindled to just 118 pounds.
"I became addicted and when it came to the point where you either do heroin to survive or you throw everything else out the window - I chose heroin," McRae said.
Metro narcotics detectives says they are seeing heroin use quickly rising in local high schools.
An undercover detective asked 8 News NOW to hide her identity.
"We have a lot of children, a lot of teenagers, who are getting prescription medication right out of their homes," the detective said.
She says drug runners will go into any neighborhoods.
"They are doing the drug buy right there, where kids are present. It doesn't matter," the detective said.
David Marlon, the president of Solutions Recovery Center, recently opened an adolescent care center, helping kids as young as 13 years old cope with pill and heroin addiction.
"When we opened, I thought we were going to be the treatment center for professionals and executives in Las Vegas. In reality, we are the treatment center for professionals and executives kids," Marlon said.
Marlon says heroin takes over both the minds and bodies of its victims.
"They might lie to you, not because they don't love you, but because they physiologically need this stuff. They know it is wrong, so they are conflicted," he said.
After a year and half of highs, Colin's step mom gave him an ultimatum.
"She said, 'either you can go and you can face the judge, or you can try getting sober,'" McRae said.
Colin is now nine months into recovery and is working to stay clean.
Narcotics officers say the best way to protect your kids is to lock up your prescription medications and get any unused drugs out of your home.
You may trust your child, but when friends or visitors come over, detectives say they could be the ones stealing your pills.