Tags: heroin | increase | hoffman | dea | report

DEA Report: Heroin Use on Rise Because It's Cheap and Easy to Get

Image: DEA Report: Heroin Use on Rise Because It's Cheap and Easy to Get

Monday, 03 Feb 2014 07:13 AM

By Elliot Jager

The supply of heroin on America's streets is on the rise, apparently due to an increase in Mexican production and trafficking and because it's cheaper than prescription drugs, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration report.

The DEA reports that addicts are switching from abusing prescription drugs to taking heroin because it is also easier to obtain, CNN reports. Heroin is more dangerous because its indeterminate purity means dosages are hard to calibrate.

"These abusers turned to heroin because it was cheaper and/or more easily obtained than prescription drugs and because heroin provides a high similar to that of prescription opioids," the DEA report reads, according to CNN.

"Those abusers who have recently switched to heroin are at higher risk for accidental overdose. Unlike with prescription drugs, heroin purity and dosage amounts vary, and heroin is often cut with other substances, all of which could cause inexperienced abusers to accidentally overdose," the report said.

More people still abuse prescription drugs than heroin, but CNN reported that actor Philip Seymour may have been one of those who switched from pill to heroin. His death Sunday, reportedly from an apparent overdose of heroin, my reflect an uptick in the drug's availability in various parts of the country.

Over the weekend, for example, a drug raid in the New York City borough of the Bronx netted $8 million worth of heroin, NY1 News reported.

"Heroin is pummeling the northeast, leaving addiction, overdoses and fear in its wake," said James Hunt, acting special agent in charge of the DEA's New York office.

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