Chris Przebowski still recalls his darkest days.
“At my lowest point I faked an injury and went to the dentist to get a tooth pulled so I could get painkillers because I was so dope sick,” he said. “I was using twenty bags a day and robbing people, sticking up houses and selling coke for money.”
A 27-year-old Lake Ronkonkoma native, Przebowski, decided to seek treatment at Phoenix House in Brentwood, where he is currently in rehab, after the drug wreaked havoc on his personal life. His heroin addiction led to estrangement from this family and caused his girlfriend to leave him.
He's hardly alone. A new wave of heroin abuse by young, suburban Long Islanders is sweeping across the region at an alarming rate. The rampant abuse has Long Island courts inundated with criminals holding up banks, robbing houses and shoplifting in search of quick cash for a fix, and treatment centers bursting at the seams with young users seeking help.
“A lot of cases I see [in Nassau County] are drug addicts looking for quick money,” said Detective Sgt. Kevin Smith.
“Calls to our office from young Long Islanders looking for help is up 400 percent from the past two years,” Jeffrey Reynolds, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, told Metro. “Absolutely, without a doubt, Long Island is in the midst of one of the worst epidemics that this Island has ever seen.”