By Lynne Adkins

By Lynne Adkins

LIMA, Pa. (CBS) – Heroin addiction is a growing problem, but treatment is available and can be successful, according to Jessica Cirillo, Clinical Supervisor and Relapse Prevention Specialist for the Mirmont Treatment Center in Lima, Delaware County.

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She says she agrees with policies shifting away from punishment:

“Allowing people the opportunity to be in a therapeutic environment where they can really address their diagnosis of addiction is gonna create way more optimal outcomes of success in regards to success and minimizing some of the criminal acts that happen as a result of addiction.”

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She says the heroin addiction problem is growing as more young people get hooked on prescription pills, an addiction that can be quite costly:

“A lot of times if someone introduces them to heroin which is $10 a bag, they get instant gratification and relief from the discomfort, but then, of course, it creates another dependency on the substance of heroin which leads to a more fatal outcome and worse consequences and behaviors.”

Cirillo says initial treatment can last 30-90 days with follow-up care.

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She adds that more police and first responders should be trained in using the medication that reverses heroin overdoses because it will save lives.