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A family's struggle with heroin addiction

Rochester, N.Y. - When a Rochester woman heard about the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, it hit her hard. She shares Hoffmans familys pain. Her 23-year-old daughter has been addicted to heroin since the age of 18. The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she worries everyday when her phone rings it will be the morgue telling her her daughter is dead.

She is heartbroken, frustrated and sad. They have tried rehab but her daughter is always pulled back in by the power of heroin. Her grandmother said she has found heroin hidden in pillowcases and discovered her granddaughter passed out on her bed after shooting up, a needle still in her arm.

The family hoped by speaking out they might help save the life of someone elses child.

Dr. Gloria Baciewicz treats heroin addicts at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She is Senior Medical Director of Addiction Psychiatry at Strong Recovery. She said heroin hijacks the brains of users making them feel a sense of euphoria that doesnt last long. They need to shoot up three times a day or they will get sick. She said heroin now can be deadly because it is laced with other chemicals, including Fentanyl, which is a powerful Opiet that mixed with heroin can be fatal.

The Monroe County Crime Lab said heroin use in Monroe County is an epidemic. They said there is ten times the amount of heroin available on Rochesters streets than two years ago and it is cheaper than buying powerful painkillers like Oxycodone.

James Wesley, a Supervisor at the crime lab said shooting up is a crapshoot because even one time can kill you.  He said Fentanyl is now in Rochester and is mixed in with the heroin giving it a whiter color than the usual tan color of the drug.

He said users not only have no idea what theyre getting, but they could also get twice as much heroin, which can also be deadly.

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Washington Times