Heroin Use Soars in New England's Towns
It's 'our biggest problem right now': Vermont cop
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 19, 2013 3:49 AM CDT
Heroin use is quickly rising in New England's towns.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Heroin is not just a city drug anymore: Its use is surging in the smaller communities of New England, the New York Times reports. Last year, 21 people died in Maine from the drug—three times as many as the year before. Over the course of a decade, New Hampshire's yearly death rate has more than quintupled, from seven to last year's 40. And Vermont saw an almost 40% increase in heroin treatment numbers between 2011 and 2012, with 914 getting help last year. Among the reasons: "It’s easier to get heroin in some of these places than it is to get a UPS delivery," says an addiction expert.

The drug often comes from Colombia through Mexico before arriving in big northeastern cities, where it then heads to smaller towns in Massachusetts, the Times notes. In New England's communities, people are willing to spend $30 to $40 for a dose, compared to $6 in New York; dealers grab huge margins, and users still pay far less than they'd pay for prescription painkillers, which are harder to get thanks to tougher rules on doctors. "If the market is flooded with low-priced, high-grade heroin, a significant population is addicted," says a police captain. "That’s the free market." Click through for the Times' full piece.

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Showing 3 of 46 comments
Jul 20, 2013 9:47 AM CDT
We have too many doctors that have been reckless about giving patients what they demand. As long as drug addicts can pay their doctors, doctors will provide whatever will keep the cash flowing in.
Jul 20, 2013 9:35 AM CDT
Heroin use is on the rise in the east and the southeast. There is a pattern: blue collar workers, with real pain, get oxycodone subscriptions, then addiction, then they drop out, then the oxy is too expensive, then they move to heroin which is cheaper. A fun fact is that oxy, which is about as easy to produce as heroin, is so much more expensive than a drug being illegally exported into the country. American pharma at work.
Jul 20, 2013 8:44 AM CDT
Let them die, saves money in the long run .