The Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network studies drug trends throughout Ohio and they've released their January 2013 report of drug abuse trends in the 16 county Athens region. The study found that a cheaper version of heroin called, "black tar heroin" is on the rise.
"It's less pure, it's got more impurities in it," said CEO of the Muskingum Behavorial Health Center, Steve Carrel. "It's just more a way of classifying it it you will. It looks like black tar and that's what its been called."
Part of the reason for the increase in heroin, is the recent crackdown on prescription pain killers. Carrel says heroin and pain killers have the same chemical makeup so drug users have turned to using heroin to get the same type of high. Heroin users are also finding new ways to use the drug.
"Along with the crack down on prescription pain killers, having an impact on the increase of heroin use," said Carrel. "Also, there's more and more strict guidelines on needles and sales of needles which is making needle purchasing harder."
Carrel says the stricter guidelines have caused an increase in needle sharing. If you'd like to know more about the study, you can contact the Muskingum Behavioral Health Center at 740- 454-1266