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Friday, June 27, 2014

Prescription Opioid Addiction Fuels Heroin Epidemic

English: Pre-war Bayer heroin bottle, original...
As states crack down on prescription drug abuse the demand for heroin has gone up exponentially. The heroin crisis in New York is not an isolated problem; health officials and law enforcement in Massachusetts are seeing that drug abuse is not an inner-city problem as overdose rates in Boston suburbs skyrocket, according to CBS News.

Gov. Deval Patrick has labeled the problem an epidemic, “between 1999 and 2012 overdoses from prescription opiates quadrupled,” Patrick said.

While prescription opioid addiction can start with legitimate use and quickly lead to a serious problem, “They say about 23 percent of people that use an opiate will go on to have an opiate addiction,” State Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett said. Prescription drug abuse is a slippery slope that can lead to heroin and other illicit drug use.

“This is striking at the heart of suburbs and it’s tearing families apart and it's destroying young people’s lives,” says Ashland, Mass. Police Chief Craig Davis.

“They may first start along the road of addiction to a legitimate prescription that they may have got from a knee injury, a sports injury, stemming from a sports injury but in very short time they find themselves addicted to these powerful painkillers,” Davis explained. “And now with the opiates being harder and harder to find, heroin has sort of filled that void because heroin is so cheap and plentiful.”

The 2014 World Drug Report indicates that opium production continues to rise and with that the availability of heroin. The drug is being smuggled to New York City like never before and is trafficked across the North East where the demand is unprecedented.

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