Heroin abuse is on the rise in areas of North Carolina. Greensboro, High Point and Rocky Mount have reported an increase in heroin trafficking in the past three years. The numbers have also grown nationally. There was a 62 percent increase in heroin users in the U.S. in the past decade, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you, or someone you love has an addiction problem, call Legacy Freedom for quality alcohol and drug treatment in Raleigh NC.
Heroin use is becoming more prevalent because many abusers already have an addiction to prescription opioids like Vicodin and OxyContin, which are more expensive and harder to get. The drugs create a similar high by opening up the same receptors in the brain, so heroin is often used as a less expensive alternative for painkillers. Heroin costs about $10-20 per dose, while prescription painkillers bought on the street sell for $25 per pill.
In counties in central North Carolina, or the Triad, law enforcement agencies have released statistics showing an increase in amount of heroin they’ve seized over the last few years. In 2014, the Guilford County Highway Patrol had seized 2,269 grams of heroin. In Greensboro, the police department confiscated over 1,800 grams in 2013, up 721 percent from 2012. High Point police seized over 1000 grams in 2014 compared with 294 grams in 2013.
Guildford County police have seized 264 as of March 2015 and are expecting to surpass last year’s total by the end of the year, saying they think it’s just the tip of the iceberg of what’s available in the area.
In the eastern region of the state, 350 grams of heroin were seized in Nash County in 2013, a huge jump from the 48 grams the previous year. Most of the offenders have been 18-20 year-old males and females who were caught selling heroin in order to support their own habits.
When there is an increase in abuse of a certain drug, there is usually an increase in overdoses. Heroin is no exception. In 2013, a report by the CDC stated that over 8,200 people died from an overdose, which is two times more than the deaths two years prior.
The High Point police department reports that 72 people overdosed on heroin in 2015. In the two years prior, a combined total of 30 people had overdosed. In Greensboro, the police are not required to note the type of drug someone is using when they are called in on an overdose, so no statistics are available.
The law enforcement agencies in these North Carolina counties are working to get drugs off the streets, but they know that arresting addicts isn’t going to solve the problem. They say that decreasing the demand is part of the solution, and the best way to do that is to get help for those struggling with addiction. Often people don’t get help because they don’t know where to go, or they are too ashamed to ask for help.
September is National Recovery Month, which aims to educate people on the treatment options available to those struggling with a drug, alcohol or mental health problem. You can learn more by visiting the web site at www.recoverymonth.gov/promote
Alternative Alcohol and Drug Treatment in Raleigh NC
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