By: ATSI Admin
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Heroin Abuse Is a Major Problem In New Jersey
[image via TV Week]
The recent death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman has once again made many people more aware of the dangers of heroin. Last month, the renowned actor died in his apartment from an accidental heroin overdose, sending shockwaves across the country. But even with the tragic loss of life, this drug continues to be used and abused in communities across the country.
Heroin abuse is an increasing problem in New Jersey. The state has seen a dramatic increase in the number of heroin and opiate users, particularly among young adults. According to the NJ medical examiner, the number of people between ages 18-25 who sought treatment for opiate addiction jumped by 12 percent from 2010 to 2011. There were 368 deaths related to heroin in the state’s 21 counties in 2011, up from 287 in 2010.
You’d think with its fiercely addictive power, heroin would affect the most experienced drug users—but these days, it’s commonly abused by teens and young adults, and by suburbanites and city-dwellers alike. And heroin isn’t only sold on the streets, but in high schools, affluent homes and college dorms.
Many people switch from prescriptions to heroin
Due in part to the prescription drug epidemic of the last decade, heroin abuse has increased dramatically in recent years. In the past, prescription opiates like oxycodone or Percocet have been easy to obtain, and many individuals got hooked on the drugs without even realizing.
When the government began to cracked down on pill mills and prescription drug abuse in more recent years, the availability of prescription opiates decreased, and users found it easier to latch onto heroin instead; heroin is also an opiate that produces the same kind of high as its prescription counterparts, but it can be cheaper and easier to find. In New Jersey, users can expect to pay up to $25 per pill of oxycodone, but a dose of heroin may cost as little as $5.
Prevention starts at home
Heroin is a very addicting drug, and countless users find they cannot stop once they start. What may begin as recreational drug use among friends can quickly turn into a compulsion that cannot be controlled.
Because heroin is now used by so many young people, it is important for schools, law enforcement and parents to do all they can to educate teens about the dangers of this kind of drug use. Most importantly, parents should be aware of the warning signs of drug abuse and continue to watch for signs that their child may be experimenting with any drug.
Anyone who suspects a loved one is using heroin should contact a treatment facility immediately. The sooner help is sought, the better the chances of full recovery.