Local reports are showing that the heroin epidemic is not only killing our youth and 20-somethings. More often, middle-aged folks are becoming addicted and dying.
A Newswatch 16 investigation shows the average age for deaths caused by heroin overdoses is 37 in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Schuylkill counties. More and more middle-aged folks are turning to heroin after their prescription medications run out.
In these 3 counties alone, 8 times as many people over the age of 50 died of heroin overdoses than teens.
WNEP news station recently visited a woman by the name of Mary Ellen Peel in Mahanoy City. Mary was quoted in saying “It broke my heart knowing he was on heroin.” That was in regards to her 41 year old son who was found dead last fall from a heroin overdose.
Her son Dustin was many things. He was father and husband who loved the outdoors and playing sports. Nevertheless, Dustin was also a heroin addict. His struggle with substance abuse began in 2012 after a work related injury, where he was then prescribed painkillers. After such time, he lost his marriage and ambition, and could not hold down a job.
Another middle-aged man, now in recovery, was interviewed and stated the following: “I just have a mess of back problems.” After becoming addicted to his prescriptions, he was able to go through a month’s worth in less than 2 weeks.
“Who wants to go through withdrawal? Heroin is so prevalent and it works better for pain than the oxycodone does.” Heroin being so easily accessible, this man eventually started trading his medications for heroin.
Nowadays, addiction is not starting on the streets or in a back alley somewhere. Usually it is beginning in our homes, our medicine cabinets and doctors’ offices. Sometimes the onset is out of our control. We hurt ourselves at work and don’t realize that our medication may alter the rest of our lives. It has to be safe, right? A doctor gave it to me. Unfortunately, physicians do not have all the necessary training, and patients aren’t being properly educated on opiate medications.
For over four decades, Clearbrook has helped hundreds of people overcome their addiction to both prescription opiates and heroin. Time and time again, those that are admitted into our program for these specific addictions are over the age of 35. Although they lost themselves through their struggles, they were able to find hope by utilizing the tools they learned at Clearbrook. If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, don’t wait until your fate is the same as Dustin’s. Call our Admission Specialists and begin your journey to recovery.