By Jack Royer

This week, WVUA 23 is broadcasting a series of special reports about Alabama’s heroin epidemic, and the recent rise in heroin use across the state.

Addiction experts from the University of Alabama told WVUA 23’s Jack Royer that heroin is one of the most consuming drugs available, with painful withdrawals that keep junkies from all walks of life coming back for more.

The recent spike in heroin popularity has been seen in people making more than $50,000 a year. Experts say this is caused in part by addiction to prescription painkillers that lead to experimentation with other cheaper, more readily available drugs. Nationwide, heroin related deaths are down. 8,200 people died from Heroin overdose in 2013. In Tuscaloosa County, heroin use is up.

Tuscaloosa Police say prevention is the best form of treatment. They are one of four law enforcement agencies in the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force, aiming to take deadly drugs off of West Alabama Streets.

Addiction experts say that heroin is one of the easiest to become addicted.

This is the first of four reports titled “Sweet Home Heroin.” See part two tonight, Nov. 17, at 6 and 10 p.m. on WVUA 23 News.

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