Nate Korbal, 17, of Hinckley, Il., west of Chicago wanted to die after heavy drinking and pot smoking, says the Chicago Tribune. Then a friend introduced him to heroin, which in the last 10 years has grown from a novelty to a plague in suburban Chicago. The young especially are drawn to its cheap price, its easy availabilit,y and its reputation as the atom bomb of narcotics. “It’s a numbing drug but it makes you feel like a million dollars,” says a 23-year-old addict. “You do it and you get a rush-you feel good, your body’s numb, you get no aches and pains. You’re in a state where nothing bothers you.”
He added; “It basically turns you to do evil things. It turned me to do things I never thought I’d do.” The Tribune tells the story of Korbal and other young heroin addicts. It was once primarily a city problem, but the trickle of suburban users has become a surge: Nearly 6,000 were hospitalized because of the drug in 2004, a three-fold increase since 1995. Over the last five years, Chicago police have nearly doubled their arrests of heroin buyers coming from suburban counties.