On a Monday in September 2007, Teddy Johnson went to his son’s apartment. Adam Johnson, 22, was in his first year at Marshall University in Huntington. A history major, he played guitar, drums and bass, loved glam bands like the New York Dolls and hosted ”The Oscillating Zoo,” an eclectic rock show on the university radio station. Teddy hadn’t heard from his son in three days. Letting himself into the apartment, he found Adam lying lifeless on his bed, in the same shirt he’d seen him wearing three days earlier. The cause of death: a heroin overdose.” I had no clue,” said the elder Johnson, a plumbing contractor in Huntington. “Wer’re a small town. We weren’t prepared. “The death was part of a rash of overdoses, 12 of them fatal, that shook Huntington that fall and winter. All were caused by black-tar heroin, a potent, inexpensive, semi-processed form of the drug that has spread across the United States, driven by the entrepreneurial energy and marketing savvy of immigrants from a tiny farming county in Mexico.
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