NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 14, 2014

Trends in 'bad heroin' fight

(Continued)

The user/dealers transporting the drugs are often so addicted they can’t wait to get back home before they pull over to shoot up. Then they end up on public highways driving under the influence of heroin.

“It would not be unusual for our troopers to make arrests after finding someone using drugs in a rest area (along I-95) or in the parking lot at the tollbooth,” Vetter said.

”Chasing the dragon” is the craving heroin addicts have for the insatiable urge to relive the high they got the first time they indulged, Walker said. Overdoses come not only from bad heroin, he said, but also from addicts using more and more of the drug in that pursuit.

Many believe it’s the abuse of prescription drugs that’s fueling the flames of heroin addiction. Pettigrew, Walker and others say many using heroin turned to it because they can’t afford to feed their expensive prescription drug addiction, which can cost $1 per milligram for 30 to 80 mg pills. Buying heroin to get high simply costs less.

At $5 to $10 a bag, heroin is cheap, available and pure enough these days for users to snort for the desired effect, Pettigrew said.

“Snorting doesn’t appear to have the same dirty stigma that shooting heroin has,” Pettigrew said. “But eventually they’ll inject it.”

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