Heroin is no longer the taboo of yesteryear. Once limited to veteran drug addicts, the opioid known to enter through a hole in the arm is now soaring in popularity. Officials attribute the increase to the prescription drug epidemic that's sweeping the nation, as many of the drugs prescribed by doctors happen to be close cousins to heroin.
From Pills To Injections
Opioid painkillers like Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet are not merely used to ease the pain of cancer patients or those recovering from surgery. Addicts take them for the fast, long high and for their numbing effects. They are highly addictive, which is why users often inadvertently find themselves hooked after legitimate use.
When prescriptions are no longer available or the addict runs out of money, heroin is a cheaper alternative. It's easy to get, easy to use, and no longer carries the stigma it had a generation ago.
Opioid abuse (painkillers and heroin) appears to be more popular among teens, especially girls.
Tragic Deaths In Toledo
A number of tragic heroin-related deaths have made headlines in Toledo, Ohio. In 2006, death by unintentional poisoning surpassed motor vehicle crashes, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In 2010, more than 1600 state residents died from overdoses; 45 percent involved prescription opioids.
A number of Ohio families continue to mourn the loss of their loved ones to heroin. Many say they had no idea heroin would impact their lives; they never expected such devastating consequences. Even when a heroin user decides to clean up, it is a long and difficult runway back to sobriety, and many don't make it.
Officials say that heroin use is not confined to one economic or social class. It's everywhere.
The trouble with heroin is that batches are not all the same. While prescription pills are standard and have their quantities clearly marked, heroin comes in a bag of white powder that could be laced with anything.
A notorious batch of heroin known as China white--far more potent than the brown kind popular in the U.S.--has been the culprit in a number of overdoses. Imports of China white appear to be increasing, however, and officials are seeing major shifts in the type of heroin popular on the streets. In Toledo, Ohio, for example, police seized 5.3 grams of China white heroin in 2011, less than one percent of all heroin seized that year. In 2012, 68 percent of the heroin seized was China white; and so far this year, approximately 80 percent of all heroin seized was white.
Officials attribute the increase to the fact that a lot of white heroin is now refined in Mexico, which means that it's coming in through experienced drug-trafficking gangs south of the border.
Users often don't know what they're getting when they try China white, which is the reason for its high levels of overdose.
For more information on this topic contact Narconon Vista