Abuse of prescription opiate pain killers (i.e., Oxycontin and Vicodin) are behind heroin's growth in popularity with young people: these pills are the doorway to heroin abuse.
Youth become addicted to pain killers initially by helping themselves to their parent's prescriptions (or those of friends' parents). They then need to buy on the 'street', but the pills cost between $20 to $50 each. Heroin is much cheaper and easier to get.
Between 2004 and 2008, at least 1,068 people on Long Island died in overdoses of either heroin or prescription opiates.
Learn more on our Prescription Drug Abuse page.