What happens if we focus solely on the enforcement aspect of drug abuse prevention? The DEA and other regulatory authorities can arguably make it very difficult or nearly impossible to obtain prescription opioids outside of hospitals and other critical care establishments. Well, we all know that this approach simply does not work. It did not work with alcohol during the Prohibition and it will not work with prescription drugs. While the supply side of prescription opioids can be regulated, the demand side will remain unchanged unless the public is educated about the dangers of these drugs.
Can we realistically expect that those who developed addiction to prescription opioids will simply stop using them if the supply will dry up? No! They will simply seek the next available solution to their problem – heroin. There appears to be almost infinite supply of heroin on the streets of American cities. Jason Smith recently published in the Auburn Journal a series of articles entitled Heroin in the Foothills that sheds some light on the rise in heroin abuse in our communities.