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This week the Today show is running a series called "Hooked: America's Heroin Epidemic" and the problem is not just growing nationwide, but in our own backyards as well.

An estimated 150,000 people per year try heroin, most of them are under the age of 26 and are relative newbies to drugs. The stories of those within these jaw-dropping numbers are the tether needed to wrap our collective minds around this problem. For one Lafayette High School grad, it took exactly that before heading to rehab; putting his pen to paper and turning the page on that chapter of his life.

Author Jude Hassan's memoir, Suburban Junky: From Honor Roll to Heroin Addict, is a personal account of his journey from a smart, well-loved kid with great potential to a fear-filled addict and how he found his way back.

Within those pages, Hassan explains how he was the last kid anyone would imagine a junkie. He had loving and attentive parents, was a great student, his father was a drug counselor; he knew all he was supposed to know. Hassan quickly went from smoking pot to shooting heroin. It took an enforced detox in a jail cell and his father's cancer to give him the will to climb out of the deep, dark hole he'd lived in for six years. Now, sober for nearly seven years, its Hassan and his wife's mission to make the most of such a troubled past by reaching out to parents, students and schools who can step in before it's too late.

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