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Painkiller Crackdown Has Fueled Heroin Use

on Friday, 08 June 2012. Posted in Breaking News, Heroin, Prescription Drugs

prescription drug addiction

Holly Yates, of Lancaster, Ohio, started using painkillers in 9th grade, at parties and just hanging with her buddies. According to, she felt the pills were everywhere, and by the time she was 18, she was abusing oxycodone, Percocet, and other pills daily.

We have heard the rest of the story over and over. Eventually the pills were not enough, and heroin became the answer. Holly said, "My cousin, she was into heroin and I started hanging out with her. She told me about it and I was like, 'I want to try it.' The first time I shot up, it was like, 'Where has this been all my life?'"

Lancaster is southeast of Columbus, with a population of 38,000. Experts say Holly's case has become all too familiar, as this town stands on the edge of a frightening new drug abuse trend that has been fueled by the prescription painkiller crackdown. New regulations and law enforcement have managed to reduce the supply of these prescription painkillers, but these efforts have inadvertently driven many to heroin, as it is cheaper and more readily available. It is also powerful and destructive.

Dr. Joe Gay, director of the regional addiction and mental health clinic Health Recovery Services, said, "It's an epidemic." A flood of cheap heroin from Mexico is another reason for the strong return of heroin. According to the Justice Department, heroin has shown up in new areas, including suburban towns were heroin was once rare.

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