Heroin use in Maine is on the rise. Twenty-eight of 163 people who died from overdoses in 2012 were due to heroin. Last year's numbers will likely exceed those of 2012. The 2013 numbers have yet to be released.

Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills has prosecuted 630 drug related cases in 2013 and says the reason why heroin use is up, is because prescription drugs like Oxycodone are harder to get because of regulations.

This is kind of sad. No we’re not Los Angeles or New York City, but it is a problem. One hundred sixty three people a year dying due to overdoses doesn’t sound like a lot, but if the trend is moving up, there is an issue. Hard drugs aren’t just taken by the homeless and poor, they are also taken by those in higher income levels. There are problems with all creeds and backgrounds.

I’ve known of three people from both my youth and later in life who took the harrowing road into hard drugs and only one I know of made it back, and is thriving at last check. One relapsed and the other sadly died a year or two year ago.

From what I understand, there is no magic pill. There is just a hard uphill climb to coming back that always needs to be kept in check.

Yes, all addicts at one time weren’t users, but they are now, and need society’s help if they want to get clean. Addiction is classified as a disease even though people got themselves there in that situation. We don’t know their background or why they need the escape. Addicts are people. If someone is hooked on a substance and wants a clean life we should support that decision.

It doesn’t mean we have to be their friend. It doesn’t mean we give them a place to stay or give them money, but I think it does mean they need our respect and guidance as fellow human beings.

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