Prescription painkillers have become the most widely-used drugs in America, and the Centers for Disease Control says that deaths from overdose are at “epidemic” levels. The death rate has tripled since 1990.
Doctors are prescribing fewer of the opiates, because they fear addiction, abuse and illegal black market sales.
But, as those drugs become harder to get, a growing number of people are now turning to heroin. It’s cheaper, more accessible, no longer needs to be injected into a vein, and in the same class of opiates as these popular painkillers.
Andrew Kezulas is an addict who turned to heroin from Oxcontin. He spoke to the New York Times to say, “This is not a drug problem. It’s an addiction problem. Oxycontin was big, heroin was cheaper, more potent. I was fully addicted to opiates. It was there. I was not feeling well and I knew it would make me feel better, so I did it. I thought of the heroin user as homeless, unemployable, living in a tent under a bridge so I danced the dance with it.”
This disturbing trend is just one of many reasons heroin use is on the rise in New England.
Today, where we live, the spread of heroin, the link to other opioids, treatment, and what law enforcement is doing about it.
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