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Friday, August 2, 2013

Monteith's Death Sign of Increased Heroin Use

The dangers of heroin use were highlighted once again by the death of another celebrity. “Glee” star Cory Monteith died from a heroin overdose last month, reinforcing concerns of the growing usage of the highly addictive, potentially lethal drug, ABC News reports.

Heroin has become a major concern of affluent families living in the suburbs, according to law enforcement officials. The days of the drug being an inner-city issue alone are long gone.

There were 28 heroin overdoses last year; most victims were younger than 22, Lieutenant Thomas Dombroski of the Bergen County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office, told ABC News. Young people swap pills for heroin after becoming addicted, due to the cost difference. Heroin, at $4 a bag, is much less expensive than oxycodone, which sells for $30 for one 30-milligram pill, according to Dombroski.

Monteith, like many other heroin overdose victims, had recently come back from rehab, he said. “They get high for the first time since rehab and that high is what kills them,” he noted. Many addicts who relapse after treatment forget that their tolerance is not the same as it was a month, or three months before - causing an overdose.

The number of people who were past-year heroin users in 2011 (620,000) was higher than the number in 2007 (373,000), according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

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