Heroin addiction has been a major issue in Los Angeles for decades now. It’s an illegal drug, derived from the poppy plant opium, which is first transformed into morphine. The illicit drug is then chemically modified to create heroin, which is extremely addictive, and can lead to overdose and death.
There are multiple forms of heroin on the street market, including black tar, brown or white powder and solid black chunks. In Los Angeles, and across the country, it can be used in various forms. Heroin addicts can smoke it, snort it or even inject it directly into their veins using hypodermic needles. Its potency is delivered fast.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Los Angeles has seen a major increase in heroin use among teens in the past few years. They say that the typical heroin user is becoming younger and younger. First-time users between the ages of 12-17 had increased by 80% by February 2016.