Constraint in prescribing opioid causes abusers to shift to heroin

Constraint in prescribing opioid causes abusers to shift to heroin

On one hand, authorities are trying to bring down number of opioid prescription, on other, addicted people are shifting their inclination toward heroin and other illicit narcotics that are leading to problems of overdoes. For quite some time, there are several measures taken to restrict prescription opioid.

Data released on Tuesday reveal that 3,383 people died from drug abuse in Pennsylvania last year. The data by Drug Enforcement Administration compilation of coroners stated that the rate was 23.4% more than the year previous to last. The major contributors to increase in death rate are southwestern counties.

Philadelphia had highest fatal overdose rate. But, eight counties in southwestern Pennsylvania were among those with most per-capita drug deaths. U.S. Attorney David Hickton said there is still a great supply of pills in this country. There still exist drug dealers that are supplying the cheapest and most powerful heroin ever.

“We’re seeing folks continue to not only become addicted, misusing and abusing prescription opioids, but to make that transition from the opioids to street heroin,” said Gary Tuggle, the DEA special agent in charge of Pennsylvania and Delaware. Heroin, fentanyl, prescription opioids or combinations of the three were found in 81% of the overdose victims.

Behind Philadelphia is Armstrong County with state’s second-highest overdose rate, at 43.25 per 100,000, followed by Cambria (42.52), Indiana (41.4) and Greene (37.31). Westmoreland, Washington and Lawrence counties ranked seventh, ninth and 10th among the state’s 67 counties, respectively. Allegheny County was ranked 12th.

Quaint Indiana County had experienced state’s steepest increase that rose from 10 fatal doses in 2014 to 36 last year. In Allegheny County, there was 37% increase on overdoses witnessed over last year.


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