The rate of opioid overdoses has skyrocketed in Pennsylvania. According to a DEA report, 3,383 Pennsylvanians died of drug overdoses - more than half involving heroin.
In recent years, heroin has seen a resurgence in use among addicts. Experts attribute this to the explosion of prescribed opioid painkillers. Medical trending in the late 90's and early 2000's led doctors to prescribe painkillers rather than recommend physical rehabilitation or alternative pain management. A proliferation of time-released, opioid painkillers flooded the market. Doctors were encouraged by the pharmaceutical companies to push them on patients and insurance companies were quick to pay for the drugs that were cheaper than other pain-management techniques. This led to widespread opioid pill abuse.
In 2013, the DEA began reducing the amounts of pills the pharmaceutical companies could manufacture. This drawback in supply led many addicts to turn to heroin, the illicit Schedule 1 narcotic that many painkillers