Across the nation, heroin abuse spikes due to pill epidemic

The rise of prescription drug addiction has led to a corresponding increase in heroin abuse, with painkiller addicts turning to the hardcore street drug when pills become too expensive or scarce. And while the official statistics are slowly catching up to the reality, the best evidence of this trend comes from the trenches. The Denver Post has a heartbreaking new series detailing the lives of several young heroin addicts on the streets of Denver, while these recent articles examine the increase in heroin abuse in New Jersey, Maine, California, and Pennsylvania.

One huge factor behind the switch to heroin is the reformulation of OxyContin, one of the most commonly abused painkillers.

The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that heroin use has risen to 239,000 users in 2010 from 213,000 in 2008 – likely as a result of painkiller addicts switching to the street drug.

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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2 Responses to Across the nation, heroin abuse spikes due to pill epidemic

  1. Margaret Alexander says:

    This is exactly what happened to my son Glen. He was involved in a motorcycle accident and almost lost his right leg. He became addicted to OxyContin to relieve his ongoing pain. After he ran out of money from his settlement, buying Oxy off the street, he got desperate. He overdosed on heroin and meth, at the age of 23. I found him dead, in his room, on July 2nd, 2010. I love and miss Glen every day. He was an awesome person and loved by so many. It is a lot easier to get prescriptions for pain medicine, then it is to get help in detoxing from it. THE TIME FOR CHANGE IS NOW!

  2. John Hard says:

    It is not the end of the world to be dope sick. This people like to get high. They need to stop to pretending to feel so sorry for them selves. Grow some balls and be responsible in life or admit you like to get high. Try being a Junkie in Russia. These Denver Junkies are so spoiled really. Shooting dope all day gives them a meaning to there life. They love it when they got heroin and coke and hate it when they are sick. I am sick of films like this. I do not feel sorry what so ever. I have been there and getting high is a blast in twisted way. In denver you can get ur fix every day.

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