Face of Drug Addiction in Chicago Becoming More White, Suburban and Wealthier

Experts in the Chicago area say they are seeing more people facing drug addiction who are white, suburban and upper-middle class. They are encountering a growing number of older adults looking for pain relief, and teens who want to get high, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Heroin and other traditional street drugs have spread from Chicago to surrounding counties, the article notes. Health officials are also seeing people substituting heroin if they run out of prescription painkillers.

Jake Epperly, Owner of New Hope Recovery Center, told the newspaper people often start on prescription medications, because they are considered safe and are easily obtained. If they become addicted, they may move on to heroin, which no longer has to be injected—it can be smoked or snorted.

Jack Riley of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago Division, said drug cartels are beginning to supply street gangs with prescription drugs.

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    September 28, 2011 at 7:00 AM

    Is the incidence of drug use in the article related to socio-economic factors like the decline of the middle class in the US? In this day and age there are enough stresses on people to make some of them seek relief.
    In any case you can’t stop people wanting to use drugs. Humanity has used drugs for thousands of years, best to treat it for what it is, a choice.
    Ok, some people can’t handle the drugs they choose, true, but prohibition does’t stop addiction. It does make it more dangerous though, it does feed corruption, it does physical tear families apart, it does drive a ruthless, for profit industry.
    I appreciate that by supporting prohibition you believe that are doing the right thing, but I feel that given we’ve had prohibition for 40+ years (and all it has done is waste money and cause more problems) we have more problems than we began with, it might honestly be time to seriously consider an end to the drug war.

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