SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The recent drug overdose death of actor Cory Monteith from the TV series ‘Glee’ is focussing new attention on the dangers of heroin use.
Monteith died from a drug overdose involving heroin and alcohol.
Here in Massachusetts, there has been a dramatic increase in drug overdose cases in recent years. “It’s an enormous problem,” says Dr. Robert Roose.
Roose is the Chief Medical Officer for Addiction Services at the Sisters of Providence Health System.
The fatal combination of heroin and alcohol that claimed Cory Monteith’s life is not that unusual.
“With any overdose death, it usually involves more than one substance. There’s usually a mixture of heroin or some other drug or a prescription drug plus alcohol,” says Dr. Roose.
The problem is getting worse because younger people are getting hooked on prescription pain killers, like Oxycontin, Percocet, or Vicodin.
When they can’t take them anymore, many turn to heroin because it’s cheaper and in some cases easier to get.
“You can get a bag of heroin for about $5 a bag and it’s in demand and that $5 is the quickest, easiest high you can get anywhere you want,” says Charlie Youmans of the Springfield Police department.
It may be quick and easy, but it’s also a recipe for disaster.
“Heroin can be fatal in large doses because it suppresses the respiratory drive , people stop breathing and their heart does stop,” Roose adds.
While heroin use among white males in their 30′s is on the increase, Springfield Police tell us pretty much anyone can fall victim to a heroin overdose including a deadly overdose.
They come from all walks of life.
If you have a problem or know someone who does, medical experts say get treatment, it could save a life.