Heroin--An Old Drug Making A Huge Comeback In The Ohio Valley - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Heroin--An Old Drug Making A Huge Comeback In The Ohio Valley

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Heroin is now a drug of choice in the Ohio Valley and across the nation.

Addiction experts say it's "insanely available in Wheeling."

"Just to the north of us, Route 22 is claimed to be the heroin highway of our area," says Scott Pinter, executive director of the Unity Center.

"Heroin is at the top of the list," says Mike Robinson, a Unity Center member. "But all drugs in this area have gotten bad."

At the Unity Center, they have a list on the wall of local individuals who have died of overdose.

And even without overdose, they say heroin can kill the user because of how it's prepared for sale.

"It can be cut with certain substances and people actually believe it's genuine, so people cut it with battery acid on a regular basis," said Robinson.

They say a heroin user often starts out as a patient with a legitimate injury.

"I wrecked and broke my back a couple of years ago," said Robinson. "And the amount of morphine and oxycodone I was given was ludicrous."

"What happens is that the pharmaceutical drugs become very expensive," explained Pinter. "And the heroin, once you're an opiate addict, the heroin becomes the cheaper choice."

They say they were saddened but not surprised by the death of Glee star Cory Monteith, even after he had been through rehab.

"We see that from time to time," Pinter noted. "It's so unfortunate, and so unnecessary."

Robinson said he lost his job, his wife, his home, his vehicles and his driving privileges in the course of about a year.

And he knows it can feel like there's no way out.

"I think one of the biggest problems is people don't have insurance," said Robinson. "They think there's nowhere to go. They make a few phone calls and they get turned down and then the hopelessness sets in and they just go back to doing the drugs. But there are places. The Unity Center's open all through the week from 10 or 11 in the morning until 10 or 11 at night. We have all kinds of information down here. I just urge people who want to change their lives to come down and check it out."

The Unity Center is located at 2314 Chapline Street in Wheeling.