Heroin and the Science of Addiction | Connecticut Public Radio

Heroin and the Science of Addiction

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To some it’s "smack"; to others, it’s "tar." But the majority of us know it as heroin, the dangerously addictive opioid drug that has claimed countless lives across the nation. 

Less than a week ago, 46-year-old actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died from a heroin overdose in his Manhattan apartment. Sadly, he’s just one of many creative minds lost to addiction. Singer-songwriter Janis Joplin was 27 when an overdose took her life. Frankie Lymon was 25.

But heroin isn’t just a celebrity drug. Its use spans the country -- particularly in northeast states, like Connecticut, where it has become a growing problem among teens and adults.

On our program, a panel of doctors help us understand the science of heroin addiction. What has caused the rising heroin epidemic? What treatment options are available to addicts?


  • Dr. Surita Rao​ - Chairman and director of the Behavioral Health Department at St. Francis Hospital  
  • Dr. Melinda Campopiano​ - Medical officer for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration 
  • Dr. Suzanne Ducate​ - Chief of medical staff at Hartford Dispensary