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Why Is Heroin So Popular Now?

June 2013---Why Is Heroin So Popular Now?

Here in Ohio, heroin has made a raging comeback after laying "dormant" for decades. It appears as if this is the case nationwide as well. But why? Why has a drug that "died" decades ago come back with such fury?

I have a theory as to why.The story is a tad detailed, but bear with me. 

Some of us cops predicted this happening in our area, years before it actually came to pass. There were drug officers who saw the writing on the wall, and tried to sound the alarm, but the nationwide momentum was too intense. Here is the story from my perspective in Northwest/West Central Ohio.

In 2002 I was assigned to a regional narcotics task force. We spent most of our time buying crack cocaine, powder cocaine and marijuana. There were some occasional purchases of acid, ecstacy, meth or other drugs, but our primary business was cocaine based products.

Around this time we worked a few sporadic "script cases". These are cases in which the suspect was illegally involved in prescription medication in some way. They were stealing prescription blanks while at the doctor's office. They were "doctor shopping" to get multiple prescription for the same pills. They were straight up stealing other people pills etc. Almost every case revolved around oxycontin, vicodin or other opiate based pain pills. Vicodin had been around a while, but for us, seeing oxycontin (in the Northeast Ohio drug agent world) was a relatively new thing. Oxycontin went on to become a game changer.

The problem was the world didn't know what they were dealing with. Meaning, doctors prescribed it freely, patients took it freely, a segment of cops didn't work/want to work script cases, prosecutors were reluctant to prosecute any of the script cases etc.

The world didn't realize what it was creating. I mean, if a doctor prescribes it how bad can it be? It's a highly regulated pharmaceutical, created by a highly regulated company, that is dispensed in highly regulated drugstores. This was not some street level drug like cocaine. This was not the arena of cops, judges and prosecutors. This was something for the medical community to handle on it's own......or so it was believed.

In addition to this, oxycontin/vicodin addicts who couldn't get these pills for some reason, started to "explore" and "re-discover" other opiate based pharmaceutical products such as fentanyl, morphine, percocet, dilaudid, opana etc. This over prescribing/not realizing the power of oxycontin, was problematic and created a "generation" of opiate based pain pill addicts.

Early in this game, cops working drug cases saw that many of these people addicted to oxycontin behaved just like other "real" drug addicts. Many cops gauge how bad a drug is by the spin off crime it produces. Will people steal to get more of this drug? Will people commit armed robberies to get more of this drug? Will people kill for more of the drug/money to buy the drug? In regards to oxycontin, and some other opiate based pain pills, the answer was yes.

The world started to realize what was going on. Many prescription pill addicts were on the same level of "street drug" addicts. The country realized that the way in which we thought about prescription medication had to change. Meaning, just because a doctor prescribed it, does not mean it's safe and non-addictive. 

Side Note: Let me take one moment to defend oxycontin, doctors, "accidental addicts" and unwitting overdose victims. Oxycontin is a revolutionary drug in the treatment of pain management. One of the greater advancements in pharmaceuticals, relating to pain management, in a long time. And, it continues to play a crucial role in pain management. Doctors prescribed this drug in an attempt to help their patients who were in pain. Also, there were a lot of regular, good, solid people who unwittingly became addicted to opiate based pain killers after being in a car accident, getting hurt at work, suffering a sports injury or having any legit condition which caused them pain. Unfortunately, there were also a number of first time receational users that didn't know what they were getting into and suffered fatal overdoses. Again, the thought was..it's a prescription medication. How dangerous can it be.

Well, eventually the world did catch up to all of this. Doctors became very strict on when they prescribed oxycontin, and other opiate based pain pills. Cops started working script cases. Prosecutors prosecuted those cases. Judges heard those cases. The world "pulled back" and the all of this created a "vacuum". These pharmaceuticals became harder to get, and when you could get them, the prices were high. In short, the world made it much harder for people to obtain opiate based pain pills.

From an opiate addicts point of view heroin and opiate based pain pills are very similar. Drug dealers know this. Drug dealers saw the opportunity. Drug dealers saw a large group of customers, that needed a product, but couldn't get what they needed. In true form,  the "salesmen" always try to give the customers what they want. In walks heroin.

Heroin is usually a water soluble powder that can be snorted, smoked, injected, eaten etc. Heroin is a powerful opiate that mimics the effects of many opiate based pain pills. Heroin was also cheaper an quickly became more readily available. So, heroin became the "go to" drug.

Understand that heroin and opiate based pain pills are very similar. Heroin and pain pills are nearly interchangeable from an addicts perspective. Think of it this way----A guy is a Jack Daniels alcoholic. That's his drink and nothing else. One day, he is out of Jack. All that's available is Vodka. It may not be his drink of choice, but it will certainly get the job done. Heroin and pain pills are very similar in their relationship. It's a little more complicated than that, but that pretty much sums it up.

That is why heroin is so popular. The world restricted the Jack Daniels, so the world switched to vodka.

Is it possible to break an opiate addiction in mere hours...click here for more info.

For more related content click hereherehere or here. These links will guide you to other articles within this blog. These are not the only articles with related content, just some of them. Please take your time to read through the articles and find the information you need.

Chief Kyle J. Fittro

If you are seeing this page as a single blog post, and would like to read more posts about drugs on the chiefteach website, simply click the blog tab at the top right of this page.

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