After pain pill crackdown, heroin use jumps - New York News

After pain pill crackdown, heroin use jumps

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

More and more young people are turning to an old drug as they look for a new supply to get high. Heroin use is on the rise in Florida and across the nation, an unfortunate side effect of the crackdown on pill mills.

"I believe what's happening right now is a classic case of supply and demand. The pills were readily accessible a few years ago; now, not so much," says Pinellas County Judge Dee Anna Farnell. "The drug traffickers and the drug trade, they are going to try to meet the need of the addicted people so I believe they came in here and gave an alternative that was cheaper and readily available."

Farnell runs Pinellas County's drug court, helping addicts come clean and stay out of jail.

"What we see is a high-grade heroin and it's really causing a lot of illness and repercussions," continued Farnell. 

Another indicator of the problem?  According to a new report by the state's medical examiners, heroin continues to be the most lethal drug, which most often causes death.

Drug treatment centers in the Bay Area are also seeing an increase in heroin users.

"The overdose rate in heroin use is skyrocketing," said Dr. Larry Wilson, who works as an addiction specialist at DACCO.

The numbers show a dramatic increase for new admissions at the Tampa drug treatment center. In 2010, 37 people identified heroin as their primary drug. In 2012, that number jumped to 72.

"Once you start, you don't stop," explained Dr. Wilson.

"It's a very, very dangerous situation," agreed Dr. Jason Fields, who works with Dr. Wilson at DACCO.

They say heroin was once considered a ghetto drug back in the 1960s, but these days most patients see nothing wrong with using it to get high. Heroin works in the brain almost the same as pain pills, but has the potential to be even more dangerous.

"At least with prescription pills, it's a pharmaceutical. Heroin is made in the hills of Afghanistan and you don't know what the potency is of the product you're using," added Dr. Wilson. 

Heroin has a way of stopping people dead in their tracks, added Dr. Fields.

"There's a saying that you don't see many 40-year-old heroin addicts."

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Subway bedbug infestations on the rise

    Subway bedbug infestations on the rise

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:48:09 GMT
    It appears the subway bedbug problem we've been reporting is getting worse. Commuters already have to contend with sweltering platforms, scurrying rats and packed train cars, and now there's another transit woe: fear of bedbugs.
    It appears the subway bedbug problem we've been reporting is getting worse. Commuters already have to contend with sweltering platforms, scurrying rats and packed train cars, and now there's another transit woe: fear of bedbugs.
  • Hope's Land of Candy

    Hope's Land of Candy

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:26:26 GMT
    Step through the doors of Hope's Land of Candy in Island Park, Long Island and you''ll be taking a trip back in time. There's no WIFI but they do have a player piano, Victrola, and then there the candy, lot and lots of it.
    Step through the doors of Hope's Land of Candy in Island Park, Long Island and you''ll be taking a trip back in time. There's no WIFI but they do have a player piano, Victrola, and then there the candy, lot and lots of it.
  • West Indian Day Parade steps off amid shootings

    West Indian Day Parade steps off amid shootings

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:05 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:05:47 GMT
    The West Indian Day Parade is supposed to be a time of fun and excitement in celebration of Caribbean culture. However, several shootings near the parade has turned it into a day of tragedy for some.
    The West Indian Day Parade is supposed to be a time of fun and excitement in celebration of Caribbean culture. However, several shootings near the parade has turned it into a day of tragedy for some.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices