Recovering Heroin Addict Brad Blount On A Dark Time, And How He Escaped It

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90.3 WBHM Vestavia Hills– Heroin use is on the rise in Alabama. In Jefferson County alone, reported overdose deaths doubled between 2013 and 2014. And contrary to old stereotypes, the drug doesn’t respect race, class, or neighborhood boundaries. Brad Blount of Vestavia Hills is proof. He’s from a solid family in that well-heeled suburb, but in this first part of WBHM’s coverage of the issue, the 24-year-old tells reporter Dan Carsen that despite his advantages, his life took a dark turn:

Naloxone Helps Stop Heroin Overdoses in Alabama, But Still Not Widely Used
01-28-2016

In Jefferson County, heroin abuse rose dramatically in 2014. The county coroner attributed more than 140 deaths to heroin. Law enforcement and the state have been rushing to respond. Last year, the state legislature approved access to a heroin antidote: naloxone, more commonly known as narcan. If used properly, naloxone can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. Public health officials in Alabama are trying raise awareness and get the potentially life-saving drug to the people who need it most.

High Costs of Heroin Addiction Treatment Put Significant Strain on Families
01-26-2016

Heroin abuse continues to rise nationally and in Alabama, leaving more people searching for ways to kick addiction. Families ask friends, professionals and scour the Internet looking for the best, and most affordable, treatment for their loved one. But the financial burdens can be crippling, sometimes thousands upon thousands of dollars.

The Low Price and High Cost of Heroin
01-25-2016

Heroin overdose deaths are on the rise nationally. In Jefferson County, deaths increased by more than 140 percent in 2014. The numbers were shocking: Heroin caused or contributed to 144 deaths in 2014. Area law enforcement responded by increasing efforts to get traffickers and drugs off the streets, especially in Birmingham.

As Heroin Use Rises, More Families Struggle With Loss And Addiction
08-6-2015

Heroin use has exploded in Alabama, and heroin-related deaths more than doubled in Jefferson County last year. That means more and more relatives have to cope with the mistrust, deception and shame that come with addiction. Despite the stigma, parents and families are reaching out for help.

Uncovering Alabama’s Hidden Hepatitis C Problem
06-22-2015

Injection drug use is on the rise around the country, feeding an increase in cases of the blood-borne liver disease Hepatitis C. The Centers for Disease control says that, nationally, Hepatitis C infections rose 150 percent in the last 3 years. But the spread of the disease in Alabama is hard to measure. Doctors and health care officials are trying new ways to determine the true spread of the disease here in Alabama — doctors like Jim Galbraith, an emergency room physician at UAB.