Heroin Use on the Rise in Southern California

An increasing number of teens and adults in southern California are using heroin, according to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials.

“Heroin use has become a particular concern for the DEA because we’re seeing people using heroin at such a young age,” Agent Sarah Pullen told NBC Los Angeles. High school counselors in Orange County are reporting a rise in heroin use, the article notes.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported initiations to heroin have increased by 80 percent among teens ages 12 to 17. The increase in heroin use is largely attributed to the drug’s low cost and easy availability, both in southern California and around the country.

A study published last year found OxyContin abuse has decreased now that the painkiller has been reformulated to make it more difficult to misuse. Many people who abused the drug have switched to heroin.

The study included more than 2,500 people who were dependent on opioids, who were followed between July 2009 and March 2012. During that time, there was a 17 percent decrease in OxyContin abuse. In 2010, the company that makes OxyContin introduced a new version of the drug that is more difficult to inhale or inject.

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    July 27, 2015 at 7:09 PM


    I am wondering how you and your daughter are. My daughter almost injected heroin in 2013, after using drugs all through middle and high school. When she saw what she had become, she quit, with the help of AA and NA. She will be clean and sober 2 years this October, and has a fairy tale life. Your daughter has to hit a bottom and want to quit, else you’re wasting your time. Try tough love as a last resort. G-d bless and let me know how things are.

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    Balinda Gray

    March 27, 2015 at 4:45 PM

    Hello, My name is Balinda Gray and I am a mother of a beautiful 19 years old daughter. I want to know what is being done by the DEA to combat the rise in our teenagers use of heroin? My beautiful daughter started drinking and ecstasy, pills and pot at Trabucco Hills High School, by the time she was 15 she was smoking heroin. She’s 19 years old and has been in 5 rehabs, the last one she’s still at and I had to send her to Florida to get her away from all the heroin drug dealers and connections she had from San Diego County down to Los Angeles County. The main targets of are: Santa Ana, Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, San Clement (Santa Ana and San Clemente the teenagers rent hotel rooms and live in them and do heroin, as did mine), Irvine just to start. There are no recent articles on the web about the epidemic and no one talks about it, it’s as if it didn’t exist. I want to know what the DEA is doing about it, Mayor Steven Choi, Mayor Miguel Pulido, Mayor Sam Allevato, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Mayor Tim Brown, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, what is being done. My daughter is going to die from heroin if rehab fails her again, she will die, I just know it. And i’t dirt cheap to get heroin, why hasn’t anyone done anything about it? It’s real, it’s here, it’s killing our kids, yet no one talks about it, it’s shameful. I want answers, why is it here, how’s it getting in, why is it so readily available and why isn’t anyone stopping the flood of heroin into California?

    Please let me know what I need to do, because I have just begun and I want something done, now. Our kids aren’t strong enough to battle it alone, it’s to powerful. I’m very angry at the drug and it’s availability. I’m even more angry that nothing is being done or she wouldn’t be able to leave rehab after rehab and be picked up and given heroin. The statistics of recovery are not good, the result is usually death once they start injecting it as my daughter did. oh ya, Alanon, joke in Orange County. I became involved with an addiction expert to get my daughter on that plane last Friday and get her to Florida and she was so high I had to have her ticketed as mentally disabled so they would help her switch her flight, because she missed her 1st flight.

    Kind Regrds,
    Balinda Gray

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