Why heroin, why now?

Many questions arise when you hear that heroin is becoming such a prevalent part of our nation’s culture, and more specifically, the culture of western Ohio.

As seen on the news, and read in many papers, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has called heroin abuse an epidemic, killing at least 11 Ohioans a week.

Executive Director of the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation Center (W.O.R.T.H.), Mark Fuerstenau, addressed his concerns with the substance, what leads to heroin use and why it has become so popular in our country and state.

Opiates, are referred to as painkillers, often lead to the street drug heroin, and include Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin and codeine. These are consistently prescribed by doctors to help alleviate pain. In addition to relieving pain, opiates can also initiate a euphoric feeling people enjoy, leading in some cases to addiction and dependancy.

Fuerstenau said the state is attempting to place restrictions on the medical community’s prescription medications.

“In other words they’re trying to make it harder for individuals to go out and go prescription shopping, and to find medical professionals where they can say, “oh I have a bad back, I have a bad knee and I need something for the pain,” in the past people have been able to go from one doctor to the next to the next, and that doctor is not aware that prescriptions have been written by other doctors,” he said. “So the state and the medical professionals are trying to work on a way that they can better track who has had prescriptions and what they’re for.”

There are many health complications that accompany any drug addiction, but with heroin, addiction comes quickly.

For the full story, see the Saturday, Jan. 11 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.