Communities Continue to Struggle with Opiate Addiction

By Staff Writer

Despite strong relapse prevention efforts, local drug enforcement officials continue to report troubling signs in the battle against opiate addiction. Some communities are saying that the problem has reached epidemic levels, and are calling for increased drug rehab programs to help residents fight their addictions.

For example, the rate of heroin addiction in Nassau County, New York increased by more than 90 percent between 2005 and 2008, according to the Mineola Patch. Officials said that heroin has become the “drug of choice” for wealthy and middle class teenagers and young adults. The drug can provide them with a powerful high but quickly leads to opiate addiction, which can ruin lives.

Law enforcement representatives told the news source that understanding the reasons why adolescents gravitate toward this drug is equally as important as trying to stop the flow of the substance into communities. One noted that reducing the stress and pressure placed on youths may remove some of the reasons for their drug-seeking behavior.

Opiate addiction is one of the most common reasons for seeking drug rehab treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 18 percent of all rehab admissions are for addiction to heroin or other opiates.