Study, counselors say heroin is making comeback - FOX Carolina 21

Study, counselors say heroin is making comeback

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Drug and treatment counselors see an increase in heroin addictions. (June 17, 2014) Drug and treatment counselors see an increase in heroin addictions. (June 17, 2014)

Heroin comes in many forms and users smoke it, snort it or inject it.

During an interview, FOX Carolina talked to one young woman who is now in recovery.

"It brings you to a lower place than you could ever imagine," she said. "I got on pain pills first and it would go up to higher milligrams and then eventually someone introduced me to heroin."

She said she knew she needed help when she realized she wasn't spending enough quality time with her son.

"I couldn't get out of bed for him until I had done heroin or a pain pill or something," she said.

A study in JAMA Psychiatry shows users are going from popping prescription pills to using heroin in the suburbs. On Monday, EMS workers and deputies responded to a call that several people overdosed on heroin at a Quality Inn motel in Greenville County.

"It's definitely hitting all classes and addiction is addiction," Michael McLain said. "It can be smoked, it can be snorted, it can be injected."

He's the out-patient services manager with the Phoenix Center in Greenville. The center is a drug recovery and treatment facility.

"As prescription medications become more difficult to obtain people are turning to heroin," he said.

He said he sees more and more patients with heroin addictions and when users try and get off the drug, heroin withdrawals are tough.

"At that point, it's not necessarily the attempt to get or to have pleasure from the experience, but just to stay well and not get sick," McLain said.

He said he's at the Phoenix Center to let patients know they can get well and sober, just like the young woman FOX Carolina talked to.

"Life is so much better without it. And being free from that is awesome. It's breathtaking," the woman said.

Counselors say so far this year they've already treated more than 5,500 people for various addictions. They also tell us 50 percent of detox admissions are for opiate addictions, which include heroin.

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