Keystone Director Warns of Heroin Overdose Deaths
Carol Regier, Executive Director of the Keystone Treatment Center in Canton, South Dakota says heroin is fast becoming the drug of choice for many people in the Sioux Falls area.
"In the last few years heroin use has slowly increased in the area...not like you would see in Minneapolis. But, definitely the drug is on the rise in our community.We probably admit two to four people with heroin addiction every week at Keystone Treatment Center."
Regier says the cost of heroin is attractive to users who have been abusing prescription drugs.
"A lot of people in our area started abusing a variety of prescription drugs. After time, doctors want to stop writing prescriptions because their patients have become dependent on the medications. The patients figure out they can get heroin on the streets of Sioux Falls cheaper than some prescription drugs. They just switch the buyers."
Regier says there has been a dramatic rise in heroin overdose deaths because of a dangerous additive.
"People are adding Fentanyl to the heroin they are using.
When I worked in surgery as a nurse, the additive worked great for the patients as an anesthetic. At the same time, it very potent. I would say that Fentanyl is 50 to a hundred times stronger than heroin."
Regier says the recent flood of heroin overdose deaths has impacted Keystone's resolve to care for those who area affected by substance abuse.
"We firmly believe that the best way to keep a person safe from a heroin overdose is to help that person overcome his or her addiction altogether, and we welcome them with open arms to those who are eager to take back their lives from heroin's grasp."