Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Hall-Flavin are available in the downloads.
Heroin is cheap, easily obtainable and on the rise as a killer across the nation. Because it is so cheap, heroin abuse is being seen in younger people and more people in the middle class. Experts say oxycontin use can easily lead to heroin addiction as it costs costs a fourth as much. Parents, friends and colleagues should be aware of the symptoms of heroin use, especially if they suspect or know that a person has used illegal drugs or prescription painkillers before:
MEDIA CONTACT:Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email@example.com
“Heroin is prevalent, it’s out there and it is deadly,” says Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and addiction expert. “But it doesn’t have to be. There is hope out there for people if they can get treatment.”
A heroin overdose most often occurs when the heart stops or from lack of breathing, says Dr. Hall-Flavin. That’s because opiates suppress the brain stem, the part of the brain that regulates breathing and your heartbeat.
A few facts about heroin and heroin abuse:
Dr. Hall-Flavin says one potential solution to the heroin overdose (besides treatment) could be widespread distribution of Naloxone at places such as public health clinics. The drug overturns the effects of heroin. Because 85 percent of people who overdose do so in front of someone else, it has the potential to save lives.
“It’s good to know the signs and symptoms of an overdose, and let someone know how to reach treatment,” says Dr. Hall-Flavin. “It is also good to dispose of all unused, expired or unneeded prescription drugs at home.”
To interview Dr. Hall-Flavin about addiction or heroin abuse, please contact Bob Nellis at 507-284-5005 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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