According to Reuters, heroin is not only less expensive than beer in the state of Pennsylvania, it’s easier to buy than wine. When both heroin and alcohol are illegal to purchase – as is the case for residents under the age of 21 – a report found that it’s far easier for underage individuals to get their hands on highly addictive heroin than it is to secure a bottle of alcohol, and heroin costs less than a six-pack.
Additionally, the report found that while heroin was once very rarely the cause of death for anyone in rural parts of the state, the rate of drug-related deaths has increased in rural Pennsylvania from 1 in 100,000 in 1990 to 13 in 100,000 in 2011.
But Pennsylvania is not the only state struggling with rising rates of heroin abuse among residents. Vermont, too, is finding that residents in rural parts of the state are also succumbing to heroin abuse and addiction at higher rates than in the past, and states across the country are reporting higher rates of heroin use and abuse among those who live outside of urban areas.
Heroin’s slow trek from inner cities to the suburbs and now to rural locations is disturbing for a number of reasons. It indicates that the problems of painkiller abuse and addiction – formerly the primary issue in suburban and rural areas – is now being replaced with heroin abuse, a drug that is far more difficult to track than prescription drugs.
Cost is part of the issue. As legislation and regulation of prescription painkillers increased across the country, making it more difficult for those with a dependence upon the pills to get refills, the black market attempted to fill the void. But cost of the pills on the street is high, and few could afford to maintain their addiction in this manner. With heroin even more readily available and at a much lower price point, many simply shifted the focus of their opiate addiction to this drug rather than attempt to continue using painkillers – or get treatment. While a single pill can easily cost $20 or more, a hit of heroin can cost between $5 or $10 and provide a stronger high that lasts longer.
Unfortunately, heroin is just as deadly as painkillers. It is just as likely to cause overdose, and it comes with new risks related to injection use as well.
If you are, or your loved one is, living with a dependence upon opiates in any form, we can help you safely through the detox process and guide you through the long-term therapeutic treatment that is necessary to overcome opiate addiction. Call now for more information.