Oscar-winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman is apparently the latest victim of a heroin overdose. Police say the number of deaths from heroin overdoses is sky-rocketing across the country.
Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment with the needle still in his arm and dozens of packages of heroin strewn about his apartment, some empty, some full. Family members started getting worried about him when he failed to pick up his three young children at their mother's home.
Hoffman allegedly used the newest, most lethal type of heroin, called "white heroin," that is the purest form of heroin mixed with an opiate. Police say the drug is sweeping the nation because its high availability and low price make it an attractive alternative to prescription pain killers.
Millions of American adults and teenagers are hooked on the tremendously addictive painkillers Vicodin and Oxycontin. But finding the drugs and paying for them is getting more difficult as demand increases and authorities are tightening the means of dispensing them. Some of these pain killers sell for an astounding $80 for just one pill.
Prescription pain killer addicts have started switching from those drugs to heroin because it's easier to find, costs less, and packs a bigger punch than pain killers.
Like all addictions, it takes more of the heroin to get the same high, so the user continually increases the amount they use to get a more intense high, ultimately leading to fatal overdose.
Rehab centers are reporting a rise in heroin users, especially ones from middle class homes. Users find heroin is easier to get than other drugs and less expensive.
Rehab is the best way heroin addicts can free themselves from the biological pull of the drug. Choose a rehab clinic that is Christ-centered and include a relationship with Jesus and a reliance on his power to deliver from the bondage of drug abuse.
Parents should talk to their children about the dangers of heroin, pointing out, for instance, that people can die from a heroin overdose the very first time they try it.
Also be on guard for signs your child might be using or abusing drugs, such as changes in personality, weight, friends, or school performance.