Heroin use in Colorado spikes

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DENVER -- A new report released Wednesday details heroin usage, overdose and treatment data in Colorado. It documents the alarming increase in heroin related death and disease in our state and includes a survey of more than 700 users.

The report shows from 2011 to 2015 the number or heroin related deaths doubled. The number of heroin seizures increased 2,035 percent, and the number of hepatitis C cases in young people who may have shared needles increased 80 percent.

RELATED: See the full report here

Seventy percent of users surveyed said that prescription pain killers played a role in their decision to use heroin.

That was the case for Cyndee Rae Lutz’s son. His opioid addiction started when he was a student at Arapahoe High School. “The kids started getting prescriptions out of medicines cabinets,” Cyndee said.

But the experimentation soon turned to addiction. “I learned what they do when they can’t afford the expensive oxycontin that they are addicted to, and they make the switch to heroin,” she said.

Now a multi agency partnership between law enforcement, treatment providers and health professionals will work together to attack the problem.

“Folks, there’s nothing good about heroin use, and there are going to be consequences, most of them tragic and sometimes death. I believe that if we join together in Colorado we can attack this problem. We can make a difference, and we can be a model for the rest of the United States,” said Tom Gorman, Director of Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

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