Heroin Problem Rises in Florida After State’s Success Against Pill Mills


Heroin is inching back in Florida, the unintended consequence of the state's epic war on prescription pills, says the Miami Herald. With Florida officials successfully slowing the supplies, shutting down the pill mills that masqueraded as pain centers and arresting thousands of addicts and even doctors, heroin has become a popular substitute. In January, researchers from across the U.S. met in New Mexico at the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Community Epidemiology Work Group conference and swapped frighteningly similar stories about the increased use of heroin. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale region was named one of the regions facing the heroin trend.

“The major drug headline of 2012 was the emergence of heroin both in urban centers and small cities and towns,'' said epidemiologist and drug expert Jim Hall of Nova Southeastern University's Center for Applied Research on Substance Abuse and Health Disparities. “Young adults, 18 to 30, white, prescription opioid addicts are making the transition to heroin.” While the raw numbers remain small in Florida and police have seen little street activity, experts are mounting a campaign to slow the trend, from public education about the risks of heroin and needle injection to law enforcement presentations about a Good Samaritan law designed to stop drug overdoses.

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