Opiate use has become Douglas County’s fastest-growing drug problem, fueled by an increase in availability of pain pills and a decrease in home-grown methamphetamine labs, according to health professionals and law enforcement officials. Once readily available, the ingredients for methamphetamine are now kept behind pharmacy counters. At the same time, the use of opiates has risen, especially among younger drug users. Police, doctors and counselors report that some people who become hooked on pain-killing drugs such as Vicodin and Oxycontin go on to search out a cheaper alternative — heroin. Roseburg pediatrician Bob Dannenhoffer said doctors were encouraged in the …
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