Heroin, A Drug That Doesn't Discriminate

- April 29th, 2014

The number of local people dying from heroin continues to skyrocket.
Those new numbers reveal heroin is now hitting home harder than ever.

Its a drug that does not discriminate.
David Andino, Gaudenzia Halfway House manager, said: "You can be a doctor, you can be a lawyer, can be anybody on the streets, it just has no barrier."

Heroin can affect anyone, at any age.

Lauren Chilcott, recovering heroin addict, said: "Completely took over my life. Doing it at work. Right when I woke up, I needed it to get by."

Lauren started taking prescription pills to get high when she was in her teens.
When she couldn't get pills, she turned to what she says she thought would be the next best thing.

Lauren, "I was super sick, and couldn't find any pills anywhere and I bought a bag of heroin. I started buying from there on out and didn't buy another pill since."

From there, she became a full blown addict.
Lauren, "I fell in love. I did pills for a really long time. And first time I did heroin, it was ten times better for me."

Officials say because heroin is so cheap, it's readily available. And many prescription pill abusers turn to the drug because of its accessibility.

Dennis Tobin, Regional Director, Bureau of Narcotics, said: "Heroin's not that expensive to buy on the streets. You always have a surplus of it. Where you have a demand ... gonna have a supply.

David, "Once a person tries heroin, it's pretty much a done deal unless they seek help."

Eventually Chilcott went to rehab and has been clean since September.
But she says the addiction still surrounds her.
Most recently her 19-year-old cousin overdosed.

Lauren, "It's really sad to see. These kids don't know what they're getting into. They think they're invincible."

New life saving measures are available, but it can be difficult to combat an epidemic that has spiked two fold.

Harry Latta, Emergycare Operations Supervisor, said: "FDA has recently put on front burner a new Nanoxin administration tool which will be used for family members and some clinics."

Addiction specialists say beating the stigma is challenging, but it's about moving forward.

David, "To go down that road for so many years, to try to rebuild yourself, you really gotta surround yourself with positive support."

And Chilcott is hoping her story will make a difference.

Lauren, "It's not okay to sweep it under the rug, nothing gets solved that way. That's how people lose their lives."

This Thursday a heroin community outreach seminar is beind held from 7 to 9 at the Fairfield Fire Hall on East Lake Road in Harborcreek.

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