Heroin becoming cheaper, more acceptable and more popular - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Heroin becoming cheaper, more acceptable and more popular

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WACO -

Heroin is a drug many consider not for the normal user, but it's becoming more and more common.

Waco Police Department says heroin arrests have increased over the last few years. It's a growing trend that includes the entire nation. One national addiction hotline says 85 percent of their calls come from opiate users which include prescription pills and heroin.

"We're starting to see heroin will replace those drugs of choice, we've had crack abusers tell us they'd rather be hooked on heroin," Waco PD spokesperson Sgt. Patrick Swanton said. "Obviously, we're trying to get a handle on it."

Local drug rehab centers are also seeing this trend. Cenikor Foundation is a detox center in Waco that can house up to 55 people who are recovering from drug addictions. A counselor says opiate are the number one addiction they see, followed by alcohol and meth. Heroin is an opiate, but counselor Stacie Woodall says they see heroin about as much as alcohol and meth. All are problems, but heroin has risen over the last decade or so.

"When I grew up that was the drug, that was the worst drug you could end up on and we instinctively think that it's the guy under the bridge, but that's not the way it is anymore," Woodall said.

Woodall says there could be a number of reasons for this growing popularity. One of those is the fact that heroin has become cheaper.

"It's cheaper for kids, because that's the question you ask, why did you start with heavier drugs than alcohol? And most of them tell you it's easier to get than alcohol," Woodall said.

It's also become more socially acceptable among certain crowds.

"I mean that's considered the party drug," Woodall said.

"It's real open and it's everywhere and there's a reason it definitely feels real good but not for long," a recovering addict said.

A woman who is recovering from heroin says another reason it's become popular is because of the ease of getting prescription pain pills. She says many people become addicted to those, then when that's not good enough, they go to heroin.

"If you hear about something like that's only a 100 times stronger, I can definitely see the appeal," she said.

Woodall also says prescription pills are a problem. She says teens often raid their parents' pill closets and then those lead to heroin.

So when you consider everything, accessibility, price and social changes, heroine can be a dangerous combination of ease and addiction.

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