February 18, 2013
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Drug treatment counselors and police are seeing a surge in heroin addiction in Buffalo and across the state, much of it because of people switching from prescription painkillers like oxycontin and hydrocodone.
The Buffalo News reports that the Erie County crime lab was asked to test about 500 samples of heroin in 2010. Last year, the number had nearly tripled. Police said people they arrest typically started on pills prescribed by doctors, then started buying them on the street. Eventually they turn to heroin because it's cheaper.
The state attorney general's office is attacking the problem by targeting heroin traffickers with the state's "drug kingpin" laws. The office is also going after doctors who write illegal prescriptions.
State lawmakers have also passed a measure to block addicts from stocking up on painkillers.
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