Painkillers and Heroin
Long gone is the picture of the back alleys of American life, heroin is spreading across the country. The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in February only underscored a problem many American communities already were combatting: the rising use of — and deaths from —Heroin. A new study finds that OxyContin abuse has decreased now that the painkiller has been reformulated to make it more difficult to misuse. Many people who abused the drug have switched to heroin, the research reports. A small bag of heroin can cost as little as $5, compared with an 80-milligram dose of OxyContin, which can cost up to $80 on the street. Lead researcher Theodore Cicero of Washington University in St. Louis said. “Substance abuse is like a balloon: If you press in one spot, it bulges in another.”
This article continues the same scope.
James Hunt, acting special agent in charge of the New York office of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration mentions in the article above, “Oxycodone is becoming more difficult to get. It’s becoming easier to buy heroin,”. He said roughly 80 percent of first-time heroin users have abused painkillers before turning to the drug.
But it’s a killer — because it can be extremely pure or laced with other powerful narcotics, authorities say.