Friday, April 26, 2013

USA Today reports that OxyContin is a gateway drug to heroin use

The recent article details rising instances of heroin abuse in upper-class neighbourhoods in Charlotte, NC and is reporting findings that users who check in to the detox ward at the Carolinas Medical Center are often the result of opiate addictions that start with OxyContin and Vicodin abuse.

The center analyzed their patients ZIP codes to track where the herion addictions have become problematic in communities, and, according to the center's Robert Martin, their patients suffering from heroin addition come from the five best neighbourhoods.

He states that as addicts are no longer able to obtain legitimate prescriptions, many turn to illegal drugs as an alternative. Because prescription painkillers are harder to obtain, many addicts will begin using heroin, which has caused spikes of overdoses, crime, and other public health issues.

  "When you switch to heroin, you don't know what's in there from batch to batch," says Karen Simone, director of the Northern New England Poison Center, which in September documented a spike in heroin overdoses in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. "It's a big jump to go to heroin. It may be strong; it may be weak. They don't know what they are getting. Suddenly, the whole game changes."

Full story here.


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