A recently released report by the CDC shows that women and individuals in the "middle class" are becoming increasingly susceptible to abusing heroin. Experts cite the high cost of and difficulty in accessing prescription drugs as the primary contributing factors to this state of affairs.
In a recent study, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found out that the rate of heroin usage has gone up by sixty-three percent in individuals in the middle class and sixty percent in women. Mr. Shane Fletcher, a counselor at Mt. Regis Center attributed this increase to the fact that prescription drugs are quickly becoming less accessible and stringent prescription guidelines that limit or restrict access to prescription pain medication. These factors coupled with the high cost of accessing the prescription opiates have caused many women and individuals to turn to heroin which is more accessible and relatively cheaper.
Additionally, Fletcher attributes easy accessibility of heroin in the streets as a contributing factor to the high use and abuse of heroin among the middle class in America. He argues that people who run out of prescription opiates before the time they are scheduled for a refill would most likely turn to look for the opiates on the streets. The high street price for these opiates persuades these people to turn to heroin which is cheaper and easier to access and packs a strong punch. Further he noted that some young adults, who are not on prescription pills, choose to experiment with different drugs and most of them settle on heroin as their “feel good” drug of choice. He further observed that heroin abuse is rampant in Virginia.
Traditionally, heroin and opiate abuse has been affecting men and youth. Recent statistics have shown a change in the demographic affected by this problem. Heroin use and addiction has been tied to opiate over-prescribing and addiction.
Mr. Fletcher stated that most of his former colleagues in the police force agree that there is a serious problem of heroin use and addiction in Roanoke Valley. He concluded that measures need to be instituted to fight this runaway abuse of heroin in the affected cities and counties and failure to do so will take more lives.
Fletcher also confirmed that he had not witnessed an increase in the number of women visiting the rehab center. However, he confirmed that most of the female patients who were of 30 years or below had checked in for rehabilitation because of opiate abuse.
To tackle the runaway problem, authorities need to address the factors that contribute to this problem. As indicated earlier, heroin addiction usually results from gradual use of the prescription medications. Some users of this drug are lured into using the drug after getting hooked on prescription pills. Granted, opiates are very expensive and sustaining an addiction on opiates ruins many people financially. Therefore, opiate addicts substitute heroin for prescription painkillers as they yield nearly similar results in their high, but pack a stronger punch which is leading to more overdoses.