Experts in the Chicago area say they are seeing more people facing drug addiction who are white, suburban and upper-middle class. They are encountering a growing number of older adults looking for pain relief, and teens who want to get high, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Heroin and other traditional street drugs have spread from Chicago to surrounding counties, the article notes. Health officials are also seeing people substituting heroin if they run out of prescription painkillers.
Jake Epperly, Owner of New Hope Recovery Center, told the newspaper people often start on prescription medications, because they are considered safe and are easily obtained. If they become addicted, they may move on to heroin, which no longer has to be injected—it can be smoked or snorted.
Jack Riley of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago Division, said drug cartels are beginning to supply street gangs with prescription drugs.