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      Clinics see spike in heroin addiction

      I t ' s no secret that the use of heroin has been on the rise for many years.

      Northern Michigan rehab clinics deal with hundreds of addicts each year.

      " I was found dead in a part due to an overdose in Detroit and a seven-year-old boy found my body ," Nicholas Yacobucci, recovering heroin addict said.

      Y acobucci's life was saved after that boy called 911 and emergency crews brought him back to life.

      D ays after this scare , he admitted himself into the Harbor Hall Rehabilitation Clinic in Petoskey for a heroin addiction. "It wasn't the first time that I overdosed either," Yacobucci said. "I'm only 21 and it would be a shame for me to die now when I have so many years ahead of me ."

      His story is similar to many others who admit themselves into clinics around the region.

      " Right around 20% of those coming in are going to have opiate or prescription medication as a primary substance ," Pat McGinn, Harbor Hall Director of Clinical Operations said.

      C ounselors at Harbor Hall say that since 2006 the number of heroin cases have gone up dramatically.

      T hey say this spike may be due to recent regulations placed on prescription drugs . M ost of which are opi a t e s that have the similar chemical effects as heroin.

      "W e have noticed that is why people are perhaps getting back into the heroin use , due to the crackdown on prescription medications ," McGinn said.

      B ut for people with addict i ons , counselors say its best to get them treated quickly.

      " The longer a person is addicted to heroin or other opiates , the harder it is for them to come off of it ," McGinn said.

      Y acobucci is going on his third week of sobriety here at the clinic and so far its been a successful experience that he would recommend to any one with a problem.

      " If you're struggling with addiction just get to a meeting and talk to somebody ," Yacobucci said. "Y ou never know what it can do ."