Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why Heroin Use Is Skyrocketing Across The U. S.

It's the unintended consequences of a government crackdown on prescription drugs.

Pamela Engel explains:
Health officials and drug experts have started noticing that heroin use has been exploding as states crack down on "pill mills," which get people addicted to Oxycontin and other pain killers even when they don't have a medical need for them.
David DiSalvo writes in Forbes that the increase in heroin use has overlapped with a decrease in pain killer abuse. He notes that the number of new non-medical users of pain killers dropped from 2.2 million in 2002 to 1.9 million in 2012: 
The reason may come down to basic economics: Illegally obtained prescription pain killers have become more expensive and harder to get, while the price and difficulty in obtaining heroin have decreased.  An 80 mg OxyContin pill runs between $60 to $100 on the street. Heroin costs about $9 a dose. Even among heavy heroin abusers, a day’s worth of the drug is cheaper than a couple hits of Oxy.
As states crack down on pill mills, fewer people will be able to obtain the drugs through a prescription and supply will be cut off. Pain pills become less available and more expensive.


  1. The CBS Evening News last night referred to the current difference in the market prices and how that was driving the move to heroin, but failed to suggest any reason why that might be so. Of course, the answer would have required just one additional step of ratiocination. At some point the notion of "unintended" consequences loses it explanatory power.

  2. Whereas heroin is abundant and cheap, since USG and its puppets encourage production in Afghanistan to fund our misadventures there and elsewhere. There is little incentive to restrict demand in the Homeland presently. It's analogous to cocaine in the 80s.

  3. As long as there is a war on drugs, more people will die from the inconsistently poor manufacture of illegal drugs.

  4. Answer: Because public transportation is just too damn slow...