In Pennsylvania, Heroin is Cheaper and Easier to Get Than Alcohol

And overdose deaths are rising.

This might explain a little something about Pennsylvania:

Young people in rural Pennsylvania can buy heroin more easily than a bottle ofwine and getting high with the opiate can be cheaper than buying a six pack of beer, according to an investigative report released on Tuesday.

Overdose deaths have climbed steadily since 1990, when drug deaths in rural areas of the state were at one per 100,000 population. As of 2011, that figure stood at 13 deaths per 100,000, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania said in the report.

‘Heroin is cheaper and easier for young people to obtain than alcohol,’ said State Senator Gene Yaw, the Republican chairman of the center, a joint legislative state agency.

We’ve never understood heroin’s appeal. Did y’all miss Kurt Cobain’s suicide? Did you never see Trainspotting? We understand not everybody was around for the 1990s, but you’ve heard of them haven’t you? We’re all in favor of marijuana decriminalization, but jeepers, kids, heroin is bad for you.

The report itself offers the usual range of responses — crack down on drug dealers — but also some thoughts on how to expand treatment availability within the state.

What the report doesn’t seem to do, incidentally, is question whether heroin is so relatively available because wine and beer in this state are relatively hard to get, even for adults who want it. If you’re a 17-year-old looking to score an easy buzz, are you going to have an easier time at the state store or with the dealer living on the corner? [Reuters]