That old excuse of “it can’t happen here” no longer holds up when it comes to prescription addiction. Everyone from small towns to big cities is at risk.
It happens across the country in small towns, sleepy suburbs and rural areas. A location that never had a problem with opiates suddenly sees a surge in abuse rates as the trend takes hold. The latest location is Minnesota’s Northlands region. Opiate painkillers like OxyContin, usually prescribed by doctors for quickly treating intense pain, are being abused at quickly growing rate.
In just one recent week, Duluth Police responded to five heroin overdoses, including one deadly case. Those numbers may be shocking, but in truth, the Northlands region is just catching up with rest of the country where opiate abuse has doubled since the ‘90s.
The problem is especially troubling because, as other areas have discovered, abuse of prescription pain pills can escalate to heroin abuse. It usually happens when officials crack down on the misuse of prescription medications. A region may see the supply of OxyContin or oxycodone on the street dry up or prices skyrocket. As a result, individuals who never thought they would ever try heroin find themselves switching to this cheaper (and deadlier) drug. Most who try heroin eventually transition to intravenous use and their addiction escalates, leaving them at even greater risk for overdose and death.
Most of the heroin in Duluth arrives via Minnesota’s Twin Cities. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, heroin use has been increasing the past decade, with 20 percent of those who seek drug treatment in the Twin Cities area admitting to heroin being their drug of choice.
Opiate Addiction Help at The Canyon
If you or someone you love needs treatment for an addiction to opiate drugs such as oxycodone or heroin, call The Canyon at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.