A U.S. Department of Justice analysis of Atlanta's drug market last year found that more young Caucasians are traveling from suburban counties into the city to buy heroin, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. They buy a gram for about $160 and return home to abuse the drug and sell the leftovers. This year, three young men from the northern suburbs died within a month of each other from heroin overdoses.
Those deaths affirm research that shows a new type of heroin user is emerging across the nation — one that is more likely to be young, white, suburban, and male. Often the users are transitioning to heroin as a cheaper alternative to prescription painkillers, the abuse of which has exploded among teenagers. “When these kids drive into this community, many of them find a spot where they feel safe, they go in and use drugs,” said Jeff McDowell of the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition. “That's where a lot of 'em OD at. It's also where they get HIV or hepatitis. So now he's taken what was given to him in this neighborhood back out to the suburbs to perpetuate hepatitis and HIV in those communities.”