High levels of Controlled Prescription Drug (CPD) abuse are contributing to increased heroin use.
Increased demand for, and use of, heroin is being driven by both increasing availability of heroin in the U.S. market and by some controlled prescription drug (CPD) abusers using heroin. After the 2010 reformulation of the commonly abused prescription opioid OxyContin®, which made it difficult to inhale or inject, some people who abused OxyContin® migrated to heroin for access to a potent injectable drug. This phenomenon is contributing to the increase in heroin use in the United States.
Heroin trafficking is a significant contributor to both the rising homicide numbers and the increasing prevalence of violent crime. The greater St. Louis area has experienced an explosive growth in heroin availability and purity, geographical presence, number of users, and overdose deaths.