ROSELLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Morgan Thompson could have become a statistic.
She started drinking at 12 or 13 years old, and by the time she was 18, she was addicted to heroin.
“It’s all there is really,” Thompson said of being addicted. “Everything that you care about just kind of goes away, and it’s like tunnel vision. It’s the only thing that matters, even though you know you’re hurting everyone you love.”
The 24-year-old has been clean for five years now. She went to college and now counsels teenagers at a high school for recovering addicts.
But not everyone is so lucky. According to a new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin deaths have triped since 2010, CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported. Most of the victims have been white men, but many of the users are women, a new documentary, “An American Epidemic,” reveals.
The biggest spikes in deaths are in the Northeast and Midwest, according to the CDC.
Prevention Links, an organization supporting recovering addicts, says the problem in the suburbs starts with prescription drugs at home.
“Has mainly to do with the prescription drug abuse,” Pamela Capaci of Prevention Links said. “They call it the highway to heroin.”
Cheryl Stankov’s son is among heroin’s fatal victims.
“His struggle — he tried,” the Mountainside woman said. “He didn’t want this to be his life.”
They, however, didn’t carry it when her son was alive.
“But it’s so important that it’s there,” she said, adding that her son’s struggles started with alcohol and marijuana.
Thompson and Stankov said they won’t stop fighting until the heroin epidemic is over.