The problems in Fayetteville reflect what has been unfolding nationwide ever since the resurgence of heroin and the soaring use of prescription painkillers such as Percocet or Vicodin. Although these drugs have claimed thousands of lives in the U.S., healthcare resources and services have failed to catch-up to meet the demands for opiate treatment programs.
When it comes to drug overdose, we may be winning one battle, but losing the war. As deaths involving prescription painkillers are leveling off, the latest stats on heroin fatalities could not be more dire. What's often lost behind the headlines is that the trends in prescription painkiller and heroin abuse are linked.
Risk of death from overdosing on heroin or other opioids such as Vicodin or OxyContin goes up substantially after periods of refraining from drug use. Quantities that once brought pleasure can be fatal after a period of abstinence. The research shows that individuals leaving jail or prison are particularly vulnerable.