Heroin in Rural America

By Katherine Barton

Heroin has increased in popularity in the United States over the last two decades. The increase in usage of heroin is linked to Portsmouth, Ohio, in the 1990s, when doctors prescribed medicine fairly freely, leading to addiction. Millions of pills we prescribed a year. The drugs were opiates with a similar structure to heroin. As abusers of the medication could no longer fill their prescriptions, they fell back on heroin.

Mexican drug cartels found a market in towns in Southern Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky, where addicts were looking for a drug to fill their addiction.

Today, the illegal sale of drugs such as heroin is present in more rural towns across the United States. This increase in availability leads to growing familial problems, as parents and children spend money on drugs or even die from overdoses. The problem is only growing in Ohio, with a 366% increase in drug overdoses between 2000 and 2012.