Drugs: Why Did Walter Die?

In the bathroom of a Harlem tenement, Walter Vandermeer died last week from a dose of heroin. Some 800 others have died in New York City this year from the same cause, including more than 200 teenagers. What sets Walter's death apart is the fact that he was only twelve years old— the youngest child on record to die from heroin in the city. John Schoonbeck of TIME'S New York bureau had worked with Walter as a counselor at Manhattan's Floyd Patterson House, a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children. Schoonbeck wrote...

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