Painkiller Use Breeds New Face of Heroin Addiction
Jun 28, 2012
Across the country, heroin use is growing at an alarming rate and is affecting a surprising segment of the population. “Kids in the city know not to touch it, but the message never got out to the suburbs,” said Chicago Police Capt. John Roberts, who lost his son to heroin abuse and founded the Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization to help other families. Like most parents in upper-middle class neighborhoods, Roberts said, “We didn’t think it would ever be a problem out here.” The truth is that close to 90% of teen heroin addicts are white.
The biggest problem seems to be the connection between prescription painkillers and heroin. The opiate high that teens seek from drugs such as Oxycodone (the actual drug contained in OxyContin® brand pills) mayalso be obtained from heroin, which is much cheaper, easier to buy, and offers users a more intense high. “Kids are going to believe that this is not a problem, and parents are going to continue to leave their prescription opioids unattended if they don’t know about the risks,” said Westley Clark, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Learn More: Prescription for Disaster: How Teens Abuse Medicine, Heroin
Return to view all news