Law enforcement officials in the South are casting a steely glare North as they continue to find their citizens in possession of OxyContin from Detroit. According to the Detroit Free Press, cops in states like West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky are seeing more and more cases of the drug, affectionately called “hillbilly heroin”, that can be traced directly to Detroit dealers.
It seems the dealers have an easier time getting the drug in Detroit and the demand for it isn’t as high here. What they may sell for $20 in the Detroit Metro can go for $100 to $250 a pill a few states to the south.
Because Detroit hasn’t experienced as bad of an OxyContin problem as other areas, it’s still relatively easy for people to get it. In states where it’s been an issue, however, getting the drug prescribed or even from a local dealer can be extremely difficult.
It boils down to supply and demand. Detroit can supply the drug that the other states are demanding. Because there are so few other resources for it, these northern dealers can charge what they want and make out like bandits.
While officials can’t catch all of the drugs coming south, they are rounding up several. Dealers who cross state lines with drugs like this can face federal charges and federal drug charges often carry much harsher sentences.
While local law enforcement is often after the users and the dealers, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is targeting the doctors and pharmacies that the drugs originate from. Many of these doctors practice questionable ethics, prescribing powerful drugs like OxyContin where it’s not medically justified.
In addition to the increase in prescription drug trade, the demand for OxyContin has also created an increase in heroin abuse. OxyContin is seen as a gateway drug to the much stronger cousin, heroin. Not only is it more potent, it’s cheaper, allowing addicts to get their fix at a fraction of the cost.
Under Michigan law, heroin also carries a stiffer penalty. Classified as a Schedule I drug, it is the most addictive type of controlled substance available. While a very small amount and no criminal history could get you probation, any amount greater than 50 grams for a second offense or more could land you a mandatory life sentence.
Whether OxyContin or heroin is the drug you are found with, you face serious consequences. Contact us for a free consultation and to see how we might be able to help.