Native New Yorker and CUNY Journalism student Anthony Kane recently created this great exposé regarding opiate addition on Staten Island. It covers the story of Kayla Vitale, a recovering heroin addict, from the hospital to her now 5-month sobriety.
Kayla is not alone. Staten Island is at the center of a heroin epidemic. Staten Island’s heroin death rate is 30% higher than the City average based on statistics from the Department of Health. A rate on par with bronx.
Many health professionals are blaming the recent uptick in heroin and other opiate usage on the controversial 2012 I-STOP law which requires all prescriptions to be monitored through a real-time tracking system, making illegal pills harder to get on the streets.
A prescription pill on the street costs about $25 for one 30mg pill. Heroin is $5-$10 for the same hit.
One theory is that because the prescription pills are much more expensive, former users are now seeking more affordable opiate highs, and are finding it in heroin.