Heroin Emerges as Growing Problem in Northern Minnesota
Drug overdose takes another life of the rich and famous. But Academy-Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death sheds light on a growing trend of heroin use in Northern Minnesota.
Patrick Plemel, Program Director at Upper Mississippi Mental Health Center in Bemidji, sees about 30 patients a day with addiction problems. Counselors say it all started when a nationwide initiative cracked down on prescription drug abuse several years ago. When opiate-type pharmaceutical drugs became more expensive and less accessible, heroin became cheaper to buy and easier to find.
The rise in heroin use has increased over the past three years. The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Department sees a growing number of heroin users among all ages.
Heroin addiction has claimed the lives of some and ruined the lives of many, but there’s still hope. The Upper Mississippi Mental Health Center is a non-profit organization with an access clinic that offers same day services with no appointments necessary. Anyone who is in need of help can call their 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-422-0045.
Watch the news segment on heroin addiction to hear how a former user battled her drug addictions to stay clean one hour at a time.