"The problem is if they switch dealers and the person cuts it differently, the buyer doesn't know what strength they're getting. If they end up using the same amount that has a higher strength, they end up overdosing," said Simon.
Simon said treatment varies for someone addicted to the drug, from inpatient detox to outpatient and new medications have proved helpful in achieving sobriety. But, he added, recovery is a lifelong process.
"Opiates are very difficult, because receptors in the brain are so sensitive to it.," he said.
Simon said a former addict will continue to crave the substance for a long time.
"Even addicts 10 years after will still have dreams they've used that seem so real," he said.
Simon said the most effective help is through group support.
"Narcotics anonymous is the best option to stay clean," he said.
White said being able to address continued use of the drug from any avenue is going to prevent tragedy in young people already using heroin and other opiates.
"It's time to, instead of watching these people circle the drain, see what we can do to elevate them above that and get them some help," he said. "It's sad to see some of these people die so young without a chance at life."
Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @EDNJAdams.