Doctors see an increase in heroin abuse - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Doctors see an increase in heroin abuse

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

Valley doctors say they've seen an increase in heroin users after the drug is blamed for the death of an actor who starred on "Glee."

It's the drug that killed rock stars in the 1970s from Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison and it's the drug that led to Corey Monteith's untimely death.

Monteith died alone in a hotel room from a deadly mixture of heroin and alcohol. Many fans were shocked to hear of how he died. Many believed he had conquered his demons after completing rehab in April.

A shock to many of his fans, but not to Journey Healing Center's Dr. Ravi Chandiramani.

"I wasn't surprised to hear toxicology report found both alcohol and heroin substance usually mixing a cocktail of something," he said.

Many thought Monteith was clean after going through rehab in Vancouver just a few months ago, but what he did after rehab -- this treatment facility doctor says is even more important.

"Very shortly after leaving rehab.. that's where the people he knew and used with were.. and whole lot of things that reminded him what it was like to use," said Chandiramandi.

The doctor says heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs and making a comeback.

"They actually stop breathing and turn blue and that's how a lot of people who overdose from heroin are found."

Wednesday night, a group of Glee fans gathered to say goodbye to the young star. They lit candles and hung posters to remember the Glee star.

"Cory was the heart and soul of Glee, he gave me something to belong to," said fan Mahriah Schmidt.

At this Scottsdale treatment facility, doctors say they've seen an increase in heroin addiction because people have switched from prescription pills to the cheaper heroin.

"A pill habit is a very expensive habit to maintain.  It's not uncommon for these individuals to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on weekly basis.  Money often dries out at which point they turn to heroin."

A drug that doesn't discriminate -- ending a life with a bright future ahead.

"We make use of these kind of stories even with fame and wealth and spotlight and if it could happen with all of these things it could happen with them," said Chandiramandi.

Chandiramani says that heroin can be even more deadly than prescription pills because it's not regulated and those making heroin are not pharmacists -- although any drug abuse he says could be a crippling disease and to find help right away.

Along with countless fans across the country, the cast of Glee is grieving the loss of Monteith. There's no word yet how producers will handle his death in the show's upcoming season.

Online: www.journeycenters.com

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