Cory Monteith: The New Face Of Heroin Addicts
Glee star Cory Monteith was recently found dead in his Vancouver hotel, highlighting a new generation of young and wealthy heroin users that aren’t aware of the risks of using it. Heroin used to be a drug seen mainly in the inner-city, but in the last several years has broken out into the suburbs and college campuses. With Monteith’s passing, some wonder if this will serve as a wakeup call to those that roll the dice with this drug.
Cory Monteith always spoke openly about his drug addiction, and it never got any less surprising to hear coming from such a clean cut and successful actor. 26-year-old Katie Martin says that it is Cory’s brand of heroin user that she can relate to: the functioning addict whose death strikes swiftly and unexpectedly, unlike Amy Winehouse, whose demise was foreseen by any who took just a brief glance at her lifestyle.
Today Show: Heroin Vs Prescription Painkillers
Katie Martin has been clean for eight months, but was at one point living in a car and shooting up to 60 bags of heroin a day. Like Monteith, Katie doesn’t seem the “type” to do that. She grew up your average, comfortable teenager and never thought she would at any point be a heroin addict—that is until one night when she was introduced to the drug by a boyfriend at a party.
Experts say that 39 percent of heroin addicts start out by using pain pills that mimic the effects of heroin. Given the expense of prescription pills and the difficulty of obtaining them, however, these users almost always switch over to cheap and easily at hand heroin.
Today Show: Why Aren’t There More Cory Monteiths?
Cory Monteith’s friends and family have had a hard time coping with his death, with Jane Lynch speaking about it on the Tonight Show. It doesn’t look like Cory will be the last, though. Katie Martin said that, if you have the money and the means to use heroin, you will probably use it until you will die. She is surprised she hasn’t heard about more “Coreys,” but also understands that addiction is an isolating experience.
One controversy unrelated to drugs managed to pop up in the wake of Cory Monteith’s death, when his body was cremated on Tuesday, before his father ever got to see it, which was upsetting for him.
Today: Number 16 Co-Founder David Ray
David Ray, the co-founder of Number 16, a 12-step community in Massachusetts that helps men recover from alcohol and drug addiction, came on the show to talk about the recent drug epidemic. Matt Lauer commented that, when he was young, heroin users were easy to spot, but now, they seem to blend right in. David acknowledged this new face of heroin user, saying that you have to throw out the rule book. Whereas drug users used to be looked at as “on the edge,” now drug use is just accepted, something he found to be disturbing.
David Ray said that the link between prescription drug use and heroin is pretty clear, given that prescription drugs are difficult to get and very expensive and heroin is so cheap and accessible. 90 percent of teen heroin addicts are white and drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental deaths in the US. According to David, heroin is available just about anywhere, and if you don’t know about the heroin problem now, you are about to see it.