“Glee” Star’s Death Highlights Increased Use of Heroin

The death of “Glee” star Cory Monteith from an overdose that involved heroin highlights the growing use of the drug, ABC News reports. The suburbs are being especially hard hit by heroin use, according to law enforcement officials.

Lieutenant Thomas Dombroski of the Bergen County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office, told ABC News that of the 28 heroin overdoses in his county last year, most victims were younger than 22. He said in many cases, young people switch to heroin after becoming addicted to prescription painkillers. He noted heroin, at $4 a bag, is much less expensive than oxycodone, which sells for $30 for one 30-milligram pill.

Dombroski says that like Monteith, many heroin overdose victims have recently come back from rehab. “They get high for the first time since rehab and that high is what kills them,” he noted.

According to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of people who were past-year heroin users in 2011 (620,000) was higher than the number in 2007 (373,000).

7 Responses to “Glee” Star’s Death Highlights Increased Use of Heroin

  1. Anne Fletcher | August 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Monteith’s very sad death also highlights the need for education about and availability of the emergency medication, Naloxone, to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. And while rehabs frequently teach clients about how to prevent a relapse, they need to be educated about how to handle the reality that they may slip and smart ways to handle such situations – e.g., “if you take heroin again, be smart about the dose.” We can’t hide our heads in the sand. Finally all opioid-addicted people should be educated about and encouraged to be discharged on Suboxone or methadone to prevent relapses. While we don’t know the details of his treatment, rehabs that Monteith reportedly went to don’t use such medications upon discharge.

    • Steve Allen | August 5, 2013 at 2:04 am

      Thanks, Anne– This is exactly what I’ve been saying to people since Monteith died!

  2. Robin Robinette | August 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    How sad also that we have known for 50 years now how to prevent heroin overdose deaths by TREATMENT WITH METHADONE. Why this continues to be ignored by the press and the addiction treatment community (Just Say No, “abstinence-based”, ineffective most of the time for opioid addiction lasting more than a few months, check the ENORMOUS research base)is unfathomable!!!! We continue to minimize this deadly disease and its cohorts – HIV and HCV. Chronic deadly diseases have both physiological and behavioral components. Ignore either at the patient’s peril. Effective treatment for opioid addiction comprises BOTH (and you don’t get necessarily get that with a prescription for buprenorphine….)!
    ARRRRGGGHHH why are we so willing to let these people DIE rather than recommend a treatment that REALLY WORKS????

  3. Jeff | August 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    People are drive to heroine when they can’t get the prescription pain medication they are addicted to. Rehab seems to be difficult for these people. And withdrawl even worse. I have no first hand experience but it would seem that we could at least track someone’s opioid use through prescription monitoring systems if they were maintained on medication. Just a thought.

  4. Bonnie Lynn | August 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Methadone and Suboxone are both highly addictive, have horrible side effects and DO NOT promote a high quality of life. Its replacing 1 drug for another. This country needs to focus on long term recovery- 28 days is NOT ENOUGH! 6months to 1 year min. of inpatient treatment.
    Drug replacements are not the answer !

    • Kellyt | August 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      Suboxone saved my life and it does not get you high.My life is awesome and normal now.People are dying from opiates more and more and this type of medication can help.Educate yourself before you criticize something you do not understand.

  5. KAT | August 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I have lost 6 friends from heroin/opiate overdose in less than 3 years.I did 4 rehab stints,last one for 6 months and I still could not stay off heroin.I was told by many rehab staffers and fellow 12 steppers that Suboxone was just replacing 1 drug for another and many other untrue opinions, so I believed them.Finally a new Dr told me about how it really works and referred me to a addiction specialist that prescribed Suboxone.My life is wonderful now, I have 2 years clean and sober.I am on a mission to share my experience with Suboxone to everyone I know.It can and does save lives.I am angry that my dead friends never had a chance to try it and that many in the rehab business continue to spread lies and discourage addicts from trying it.It is criminal and dangerous to look down on and judge others who want to try it.Please tell anyone you know suffering from opiate addiction about Suboxone and Subutex!! It gave me my life back.

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