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Chasing the Dragon

(West Newsmagazine, April 11, 2016)  Between 2007 and 2015, 2,844 people died from heroin and opiate overdoses in the city of St. Louis.  Chasing that first high explains much of the rampant ongoing substance abuse taking place now.  And heroin, an opioid drug synthesized from morphine and a natural substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant, lends itself to that chase like no other drug.  The rise in heroin use in recent years has occurred alongside the increased availability of powerful and addictive opiate-based prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin. The drugs are commonly abused themselves and can be a stepping stone to heroin.  READ MORE