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New heroin combos prove to be deadly
Rochester, NY -- Scott Conrad had everything to live for. He was just 29 years old and a successful electrician, but the lingering pain from a back injury lead him on a dangerous downfall.
He was given Vicodin for the pain and soon became dependent on the powerful painkiller. When doctors wouldn't refill his prescription, he turned to the street.
He discovered that heroin produced the same level of euphoria and was cheaper. Soon, he was addicted. His parents feared he would die if they didn't get him help. Twice, they got him into rehab, but the addiction pulled him back in again.
He shot up for the final time on Saint Patricks Day in 2010. His parents were devastated.
Scott's death is one of many heroin overdoses among young men in our area. The danger doctors say is that heroin is now laced with deadly derivatives of cocaine that can be purchased in stores legally. So users have no idea what they are getting.
In the past year, 58 young men between 20-29 have died of heroin overdoses in Monroe County. Triple the number of deaths the previous year.
There were seven deaths in the month of July alone, according to the Monroe County Medical Examiners Office.
Scott's mother, Helene Ehmann isn't surprised about the surge in heroin deaths. She saw the hold this drug had on her youngest child.
The Monroe County Crime lab says this deadly form of heroin will eventually kill the user. " Once you inject, there's no turning back", according to James Wesley, a crime lab investigator.
Wesley says young people never think they will die and have to shoot up several times a day to get that high.
He says because of tighter controls on prescription painkillers, addicts are turning to heroin for that high and they are dying in record numbers.
Helene Ehmann has spoken to teens in schools about the dangers of heroin and has shared Scott's story, hoping to save lives. She also donated her sons organs,to give others life. But she says,the pain of losing her son,never goes away.