Heroin use, deaths, on the rise in Nevada by Sandra Chereb , Associated Press

n this 2011 photo, results of a Regional Street Enforcement Team and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency raid show 3 pounds of heroin, 3 ounces of cocaine and $10,639 in cash. (Photo: RGJ file photo )

n this 2011 photo, results of a Regional Street Enforcement Team and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency raid show 3 pounds of heroin, 3 ounces of cocaine and $10,639 in cash.
(Photo: RGJ file photo )

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Some states, including Nevada, are reporting a rise in heroin use as many addicts shift from more costly and harder-to-get prescription opiates to this cheaper alternative. A look at what’s happening in Nevada:

THE PROBLEM:

Drug counselors and law enforcement officers say they see a direct tie between heroin use and abuse of prescription painkillers like Oxycodone. Patients become hooked on doctor prescribed medications, then go in search of supplies on the black market when their prescriptions run out. But a single pill on the street can run as much as $80 a pop. Heroin is more prevalent on the street and cheaper — about $15 for a fix.

But officials are also seeing younger people trying heroin at an earlier age. “Ten or 12 years ago we saw no kids using heroin or opiates,” said Kevin Quint, bureau chief for the state Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Agency. “The last four or five years, the numbers have increased dramatically.”

Reno Police Sgt. Ron Chalmers said law enforcement has seen a massive increase in the amount of heroin seizures in recent years. He’s also experienced the heartache of heroin, having watched his younger brother struggle with addiction most of his adult life. Read More…

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