Prescription Drug Abuse Fueling Rise in Heroin Addiction

The increase in prescription drug abuse is fueling a rise in heroin addiction, NBC News reports. A growing number of young people who start abusing expensive prescription drugs are switching to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to buy.

Prescription pain pills cost $20 to $60, while heroin costs $3 to $10 a bag. Many young people who use heroin start off snorting the drug, and within weeks, most start shooting up, according to the news report.

“Kids in the city know not to touch it, but the message never got out to the suburbs,” said Chicago Police Capt. John Roberts, whose son died of a heroin overdose. He founded the Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization to help other families deal with teen heroin use.

In 2009, the most recent year for which national data is available, 510 young adults, ages 15 to 24, died of a heroin overdose, up from 198 in 1999. Almost 90 percent of teens who are addicted to heroin are white.

“It’s hard to talk about the heroin problem without talking about the prescription drug problem,” said Rafael Lemaitre, of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

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    October 31, 2015 at 11:54 PM

    This is going to get worse …with the advent of the pharmacies program to flag where what and when you got your medications, the pill mills are on the downslope. Gone are the days of dr shopping and also with the DEA making its top opiate for abuse a class 2 narcotic instead of a class 3, things just are not as simple as they used to be to obtain prescriptions. I am a recovering opiate addict..Ive been clean now for 11 years. When I stopped using this is how I obtained all illict drugs..the drs office and the pharmacy. I didn’t have to buy it in the street. I could go to any dr and it was given easily. The drug OxyContin was in its biggest point of poularity. BUT, now it is not so simple…the pill mills in Houston that once gave out 120 each of Xanax, Soma, and Norco 10/325 are almost non existient. Dr’s here are very choosy about who gets narcotics and with the Norco being the most commonly prescribed , after it was made a class 2, it now has no refills so you have to be seen once a month. This gives the dr more of a chance to see how you are handling and using the meds. The addicts don’t like that much attention to their life..hence the use of Heroin. Its cheaper by far, with Norco now costing 6 to 8 dollars EACH in the street while heroin is stronger and 10 bucks a bag! Do the math! Most addicts to opiates eventually try IV drug use after a long period of time. The Tylenol in the pain pills killed my liver. Most don’t know that the tylenol is what hurts your insides not the opiate itself. But this is not going to get better I don’t think. I go to a Methadone Maintenance clinic as my recovery method and it has saved my life. Back when I started there was only about 75 people at my clinic now theres quadruple that and more coming all the time. I don t think its the method of recovery for everyone..if youre only taking pain pills by mouth then youre jumping from the frying pan to the fire but an IV addiction definatly warrants something like this or suboxone. ANyway, just understand the WHYS of the new jump in heroin overdoses and addiction..theres every reason to go there for the addicts of today. They are looking for a cheaper, faster better high and they are finding it waiting with open arms. The dealer doesn’t make you piss test or sign any papers…..IF YOU BRING MONEY THATS ALL HE CARES ABOUT.!! I pray they invent something better one day to fight opiate addiction…this has been a horrific battle and It still rages on .

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