Police say Delaware is facing an epidemic of heroin use because it’s cheap, easy to find and pure enough to snort, while the cost of prescription drugs has tripled due to close monitoring.
Seizures of the drug by New Castle County police have ballooned 860 percent in quantity compared with this time last year.
Police Chief Elmer Setting says heroin is easily available as prices have returned to 1980s levels. Instead of people chasing Oxycodone or other expensive drugs, he says drug users can obtain heroin on the cheap. A baggie of heroin with 0.02 grams sells for about $5.
State police report seizures of heroin totaled about 471 grams last year from Georgetown to Wilmington. This year, that figure has more than tripled to nearly 1,600 grams seized.
In August 2012, following a series of investigative reports in The News Journal detailing prescription drug abuse in Delaware, the state implemented a law monitoring the dispensing of controlled substances.
“Almost overnight, people that were abusing prescription pills, it became much more difficult to get – illegal Percocets, Oxycontins, Vicodin, you name it,” said Paul Cowan, chief of emergency services at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes. “So the shift was back to heroin.”
Delaware’s drug abuse prevention efforts include state and local programs aimed at youth awareness, statewide campaigns to promote wellness and reduce drug abuse, and changes in state law.
If you or someone you know is in need of heroin addiction treatment, please call us at 1-800-951-6135 NOW.