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Heroin and Opiate Abuse Skyrocketing in Colorado

Most states are being impacted greatly by prescription painkiller and heroin addiction. It takes lives and destroys families daily. Homes are wrecked and financial and health concerns are pushed to the side.  Opiate abuse is affecting all states across the country but not all states are being affected as bad as others. Some states are seeing crime rates spike and the amount of help needed is too much for the state governments to handle.

Colorado is a state that is being over run by heroin addiction. When abusers first start using prescription painkillers, they see the habit as a small innocent part of their life. Some are not even aware that they can become addicted to the drugs until it is too late. Before long they are controlled completely by their pills. Their pills are the first thing they think about in the morning and the last thing they think about before they go to sleep. Opiate addiction greatly impacts your finances and when it becomes too expensive to deal with their habit, some resort to crime to pay for it.

When money becomes too tight, addicts will give up their expensive painkillers and turn to the cheaper alternative, heroin because it gives a very similar high and will keep withdrawals away. The problem is that prescription painkiller users know their exact dose when taking pills. With heroin, every high is a game of Russian Roulette because the potency varies from bag to bag.

According to a national survey on drug abuse and health, four out of five new heroin users previously abused prescription painkillers. As numbers of heroin users climbed from 239,000 in 2010 to 335,000 in 2012, abuse of prescription painkillers has dropped from 566,000 in 2010 to 358,000 in 2012. As you can see, heroin and painkillers are related. When one drops the other increases and vice versa. The two drugs have so much in common except their price.

An estimated 5.1 percent of the state's population abused painkillers in 2012, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That puts Colorado among the top states for prescription painkiller abuse. Deputy director for clinical services of the Office of Behavioral Health in Colorado Department of Human Services, Patrick Fox, says the state's heroin problem is part of a bigger problem of opiate abuse, including prescription drugs. Colorado is one of seven states participating in a National Governors Association initiative to fight prescription drug abuse and has enlisted the help of hospitals, medical and nursing groups, pharmaceutical chains and the University of Colorado's pharmacy school. Fox acknowledges that the crackdown on pill abuse has contributed to a rise in heroin use.

States like Colorado are looking for new ways to help combat their state's devastating opiate problem. More and more young adults are being buried because of opiates which is causing many concerned citizens to ask questions about how to solve the opiate epidemic. People want answers and I do not blame them.


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