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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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Comments

Scott Marks Feb. 21, 2012 @ 9:48 p.m.

Yes, but do all the heroin (and meth) addicts have to live in Normal Heights? I can't leave the house barefoot for fear of stepping on a used needle.

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NancyB Feb. 22, 2012 @ 5:26 a.m.

Do you or someone you know need help with heroin or painkiller addiction? This life-threatening medical condition can now be treated in the privacy of a certified physician's office with prescription medication called buprenorphine (Suboxone/Subutex). Bupe is abuse resistant and has a ceiling to its effects making accidental fatal overdoses unlikely. It also blocks other opioids for days, and is not euphoric to people tolerant to opioids. It has enough opioid effect to stop cravings and withdrawal allowing the patient and their family to make the necessary changes that will translate to sustained addiction remission.

<p>TreatmentMatch.org is a free service from the non-profit organization naabt.org and is a confidential way to find doctors certified to treat opioid addiction in their office.

Learn more about buprenorphine at naabt.org

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SanDiegoParrothead Feb. 29, 2012 @ 9:26 a.m.

So ... let's get them off one addictive substance and dependant on another?

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Dennis Feb. 22, 2012 @ 3:16 p.m.

The obvious question here is how were these addicts getting the Oxy in the first place? If they were using it they most likely stole it which would mean that price was not an issue.

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