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Heroin Use a Growing Problem in Page and Across Nation

February 11
15:05 2014

The recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman put a spotlight on  heroin use, a growing problem in Page and across the nation. It’s not just for old hippies anymore.

I’ve seen more heroin use in the past year and a half than in over 20 years as a probation officer.” –Steven Gaethje, Adult Probation Supervisor, Page, Arizona

Heroin Use in AmericaGaethje attributes the increase in Page to the fact heroin is now cheap and there’s an open pipeline from either Phoenix or Salt Lake City to the area.

Nationwide, authorities say a number of factors are fueling the drug’s use, including low prices, a crackdown on prescription pain killers and an abundance of cheap, potent heroin. Heroin is seen as an inexpensive alternative to oxycodone and other prescription opiate drugs.

As for the typical heroin user, there is none.

People think that it is someone who is a bum, who’s homeless, who has no money and who is sort of living at the very bottom. When the truth is, it really is everywhere.”–Michael Clune, former addict and author of White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin

In Page, heroin is not the only drug problem. According to Gaethje, alcohol is the #1 abused substance. Alcoholism is a cross-cultural issue in the community. Next in line is methamphetamines, followed by heroin and prescription drugs. Between 55-60% of people on probation have been charged with substance abuse related crimes.

Behavior associated with addiction is a problem for society.” — Steven Gaethje

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