Heroin, a drug that first became popular several decades ago, is back with a vengeance. And law enforcement, drug treatment providers, and users are scrambling to get a hold of the addiction in an effort to stop it before it gets worse.
According to the Tennessean, the prevalence of heroin has gone from a rare occurrence to nearly an everyday thing.
“It disappeared for years,” said Davidson County District Attorney Torry Johnson. “You could count on one hand the number of heroin cases you saw, probably in a 15-year period.” When it first came back, “I think you had some vice officers who didn’t know what it is.”
Drug treatment centers are no longer just filled with prescription drug and meth addicts, but are now having to make room for heroin addicts. Ironically, it’s the cracking down on one drug that has led to the increase in this highly addictive and dangerous drug.
Pharmaceutical pain pills, like Oxycodone, continue to be the drugs of choice for many people. Prescription drug abuse is rampant and over the past several years, states have begun tightening the reins on these pills in an effort to get the illegal trade under control. In some ways, they’ve succeeded—creating prescription drug databases and shuttering “pill mills” where addicts could easily obtain prescriptions. But making pills harder to get has had unintended consequences.
These prescription drugs and heroin have a lot in common. They are all opiates and produce similar highs. But where prescription drugs can cost upwards of $80 per pill (and addicts typically need more than one for a fix), heroin is far cheaper and far more potent. An increased supply also makes heroin easier to “score”.
“Increased heroin production in Mexico and increased involvement of Mexican (drug cartels) in the distribution of South American heroin have contributed to wider heroin availability in many U.S. markets, including some where the drug was previously unavailable,” read a recent report from the Department of Justice.
Sheila Nickell a drug interventionist with Centerstone in Nashville says that she has seen an explosion of heroin addicts.
“This year, 2013, for the first time, I’m getting the heroin calls. A couple of calls a week,” she said. “In maybe a year period, I might have gotten one the whole year, maybe two,” she said of previous years.
With increased heroin comes increased enforcement. Law enforcement and the courts will be looking to crack down on people found with heroin. Fortunately, an arrest could provide the opportunity you need to get help.
Contact a local attorney today for immediate legal help if you are facing drug charges.