Editor’s note: And the last two paragraphs are about a heroin death in Pottstown! Wake up borough officials!!!!! Stop denying this problem exists! The man who robbed National Penn Bank on High Street was a heroin addict and high at the time. It’s not a “bump in the road” or a “perception problem” as your soon-to-be ex-mayor likes to tell people.
Heroin-related overdoses jumped nearly 250 percent between 2010 and 2012 in Philadelphia and, depending on how they are measured, slightly more in Montgomery County. In Kentucky, they quadrupled in just one year.
Experts say the culprit is actually prescription painkillers. Abuse of the expensive narcotics leads to tolerance – and cravings for more and more. Heroin is the cheap and more powerful alternative.
Experts point to a series of events that began when the Food and Drug Administration in 1997 proposed easing the way for advertising of prescription medications on broadcast television, which almost no other country does as freely. Industry spending on direct-to-consumer advertising rose tenfold in five years. Prescriptions written for opioid painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin soon rose more than 500 percent.
“As a culture, we are just very used to, ‘You have a problem, get a prescription,’ ” said Jay Unick, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social work, who studies how public policies affect behavioral health outcomes.