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Heroin Use In Fairfield County Follows National Trends, Says Greenwich Doc

Dr. Jeremy Barowsky, Director of Addiction Medicine at Greenwich Hospital.
Dr. Jeremy Barowsky, Director of Addiction Medicine at Greenwich Hospital. Photo Credit: Submitted

GREENWICH, Conn. -- There are four times as many deaths nationwide from prescription drugs than there are those dying from heroin overuse.

So says Dr. Jeremy Barowsky, director of addiction medicine at Greenwich Hospital in response to a recent report claiming the issue is bigger than heroin.

And yes, he said, it's happening here in Fairfield County.

According to Business Insider (see story here ), heroin use is skyrocketing nationwide with more and more people dying from overdoses. Even more frightening: The high rise in deaths from people overdosing on opiate painkillers such as Vicodin or OxyContin, the same drugs that often open the door to later heroin use.

People often start with legitimate reasons for using prescription painkillers, but when they run out of the source, they turn to heroin, which is a cheaper alternative, said Barowsky.

"The abuse of prescription drugs has gone up considerably since the '90s," he said, validating a new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, claiming people who abused opiate painkillers were 40 times as likely to abuse heroin.

"It's not often an issue you associate with a sophisticated suburban environment," he said. "But it's a reality."

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