Jeff Smith noon, March 8
County Says High Price of OxyContin Is Causing Increased Heroin Use
The number of people shooting up heroin is skyrocketing in San Diego County, according to data from the County's Health and Human Services Agency. The reason for the higher numbers; the rising cost of OxyContin, which is said to have climbed to as much as $80 for a 80mg tablet.
As a result, workers at county-funded treatment facilities say they have seen a 57 percent increase of heroin addicts checking in to county programs.
“While we’ve seen decreases in other drugs, there’s been a scary increase in heroin abuse,” Susan Bower, Director of Alcohol and Drug Services for the County Health and Human Services Agency said in a prepared statement. “We are seeing more, younger men coming into treatment because of heroin.”
Many of those addicts are younger adults, aged 18 to 30 years of age. Two years ago, 71 people died from overdosing on heroin, 32 percent of those people were under the age of 30.
“These are kids with no other health problems," says Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jonathan Lucas. "For every kid who dies, how many others are using?"
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