Heroin addiction afflicts small towns, nations, world

CCTV News

Evidence from a heroin investigation in Huntington, West Virginia. Evidence from a heroin investigation in Huntington, West Virginia.

The most deadly illegal drug in the world is heroin, according to recent data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The United Nations also found that more than 29 million people around the world suffer from drug-use disorders, a 2 million increase from last year.

Around the world, the United States leads in heroin abuse. A recent case in the state of Ohio of a man and woman passed out from a heroin overdose in the front seat of their car while a 4-year-old child sits calmly in the backseat has shocked many Americans.

CCTV America’s Sean Callebs recently travelled to Huntington, West Virginia, which has the dubious distinction of being the heroin overdose capital of the United States.

In one four-hour period in mid-August this year, the town recorded a staggering 26 overdoses, unbelievable for a town of 50,000 people.

A bad batch of heroin stretched first responders and hospital emergency rooms to their limits. Victims came staggering out of house after house.

For 24-year-old Danielle Utt, who s preparing for the birth of her third child, addiction started with a prescription after she was given powerful painkillers in the hospital after the birth of her last child.

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Statistics show, more than half of the heroin users in the United States started by taking prescription pain medication.

In 2012, doctors wrote nearly 260 million prescriptions for opioids, more than enough to have supplied every adult in the United States with their own bottle of pills.

But the tablets can cost as much as $80 a piece on the street. Danielle discovered heroin is cheaper, and it gave her the high she was chasing.

Danielle stopped using heroin for the safety of her unborn child and now takes a drug called Suboxone to ease the effects of withdrawal, but her baby will be born addicted to opioids and suffer the pain, and ailments that come with it.

CCTV America’s Sean Callebs on the heroin epidemic:

Huntington isn’t alone. Not by a long shot.

In 2014, 586,000 people in the United States were addicted to heroin, that’s roughly equivalent to the population of Fresno, California. In 2014, 10,574 deaths were also heroin-related.

Patrick and Holly Hickman know what it is like coping with tragedy and loss. Their sobn Turner lost his battle with heorin three years ago. He was 23 years old.

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams welcomes the $1.1 billion that President Barack Obama wants to spend on fighting heroin addiction. But Williams knows, it isn’t enough.