Increase in heroin addiction

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Increase in heroin addiction

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There has been over the past couple of years a spike in heroin addiction, heroin emergency room visits and deaths by heroin overdose. And the reason is that so many kids are becoming addicted to prescription medications, opiates, painkillers. Oftentimes, they get them from their parents´ medicine cabinets or they buy them from their friends. Oxycotin, Vicodin, other opiates like that, and those pills, you feel great when you take them. I mean that´s why they use them. They are painkillers. So if kids are in pain or even if they are not, you get high and it feels good. And so, you want more and then you want more, and then of course you become addicted. And when you become addicted, the compulsion really takes over. That´s really all you care about is getting more pills. Those pills can be very expensive. $25 dollars for a pill, even $50 dollars for one pill. And suddenly, kids are vulnerable because they understand, they learn that those medications are opiates and another opiate is heroin. And heroin is really cheap. $5 dollars for a hit or $10 dollars for a hit. And so, we all have this image of what a heroin addict would look like and it would not be. I never imagined it could be my son. It doesn´t look like our kids. But because a lot of children who are taking prescription medications and are becoming addicted then start using heroin, kids are dying. One child is dying every 19 minutes from an overdose of prescription medication, opiates and heroin. And it is all related to this idea, this confusion I think that we have that maybe because these drugs are sanctioned, they are legal, they are prescribed by doctors, that they are not as dangerous or not dangerous at all. I know kids have that misperception. So kids who would not ever consider going out and buying meth or crack or heroin will take a pill. They will go to a party and they will get high and before too long become addicted. And there are a lot of kids ending up in emergency rooms and are dying because they become addicted either just to those pills or to heroin.

Watch Video: Increase in heroin addiction by David Sheff, ...

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David Sheff

Writer

David Sheff is the author of Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, the follow-up to his New York Times #1 bestseller, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s AddictionClean is the result of the years Sheff spent investigating the disease of addiction and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public-health challenge of our time.

Beautiful Boy was based on Sheff’s article, “My Addicted Son,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine and won an award from the American Psychological Association for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of addiction.”  It was named the nonfiction book of the year by Entertainment Weekly.  

Named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People, Sheff also won the 2013 College of Problems on Drug Dependence Media Award. Sanjay Gupta, MD, said, "As a clear-eyed chronicler of addiction, David is without peer.”

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