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Heroin Use Back on the Rise

A very popular drug in the 60s and 70s, heroin is finding its popularity growing once again. This time, it is appealing to younger children in suburban areas, according to an IndyStar article. The trend has been noted by police, prosecutors, defense lawyers, coroners and treatment centers.

“It’s not just something we thought we’d see, (but) our therapists and providers are seeing more of it,” said Flora Walker, the community liaison for the Pathway Family Center in Castleton, in the IndyStar.

While heroin was out of its heyday, experts have a few theories as to the return of this potent drug:

• Today’s heroin is purer than that of the past, allowing users to easily hide their habit as they can snort or smoke it rather than inject the drug;

• It delivers much of the same effects as legal painkillers, such as Oxycotin;

• Is much cheaper – as little as $5 a high.

The most worrisome for police is the addictive qualities of heroin. “You’re getting these kids at such an early age,” said Maj. Lee Goodman, head of the Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force. “Heroin is a hard drug. It’s a lifelong addiction, and it will ruin the rest of their lives.”

According to national statistics, heroin-related deaths are up across the nation. In Indiana alone, overall drug deaths have increased substantially to 766 in 2006 from 333 in 2002. Valid data on heroin overdoses is still unavailable.

According to the Indiana State Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction, among the adults between 18 and 24 who are sent to drug treatment programs, the proportion using heroin grew to 2.4 percent in 2006 from 1.8 percent in 2002. Experts consider roughly a 30 percent increase as significant.

Among adults ages 18 to 24 sent to drug treatment programs tracked by the state Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction, the proportion using heroin grew to 2.4 percent in 2006 from 1.8 percent in 2002. Experts view the roughly 30 percent increase as significant.

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