Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicago leads in heroin-related ER visits: A growing teen epidemic

The Examiner (New York, NY) June 28:

"Chicago leads the nation with heroin-related emergency room visits, just one of several troubling indicators of the growing heroin crisis in the Chicago metropolitan area since the late 90's. In a report released on Monday, researchers from Roosevelt University cited the escalating amount of overdose death in the collar counties, a significant proportion of Cook County jail inmates testing positive for heroin, and the trending amount of users that inject the drug. The new users of heroin: affluent suburban teens and young adults who snort or sniff the highly addictive drug. Once stigmatized because of its junkie connotation, many believe it has proliferated because it no longer needs to be injected. Users eventually may turn to injection as their tolerance level increases their need. Heroin is easily obtained in the Chicago area and is trafficked through gangs using open air drug markets. Suburban kids with access to cars and cash frequent gang-controlled trafficking areas on the West side of Chicago, where they are welcomed and protected customers..."
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