Heroin 'epidemic' hits Tulsa streets, a survivor speaks of recovery

TULSA - "Just find more."

"Where's my next high coming from?"

Those are the thoughts Kelly Houghtaling says she faced for 10 years.

"I've always been surrounded by heroin and the addiction," she said. "It just brings you down, really low. It gets you loaded to where you're not feeling anything and you don't have to deal with life around you."

Houghtaling says she began abusing drugs several years ago and transitioned to heroin.

Over a 10-year span, she estimates she shot the drug thousands of times.

"On a daily basis, sometimes it was up to 10 times a day," she explained.

The 42-year-old California native tells 2NEWS she abused heroin for 10 years, spent seven stints in prison and was forced to give her two children up for adoption.

Finally, in 2013, she and her husband moved to Tulsa to seek faith-based recovery through the God's Shining Light Church.

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"We just wanted a new start," she said. "The place where we're at is a good place."

As Houghtaling continues to strive for a better life in Tulsa, she is aware that heroin is a growing problem in Green Country.

"In the last couple years, we have seen a spike in heroin abuse," said an undercover narcotics detective. "I'm thinking that it stems from the abuse of pharmaceutical narcotics."

The detective says the rise is likely prompted by abusers growing tired of prescription drugs and seeking a cheaper high through heroin.

A "balloon" of heroin, the detective says, runs for a street value of $50. A pill, however, which last for a shorter period of time, can run upwards of $30.

Police say the abusers come from a variety of social classes.

"It could be anyone from your typical drug abuser to your soccer mom," said the detective.

Police say that while the heroin issue is not as prevalent as Green Country's meth problem, it is still significant.

As for Houghtaling, she is hopeful that despite the drug's availability she will steer clear from it.

"I don't want to be on heroin anymore," she said. "It's horrible."

To date, Houghtaling has stayed sober for one year.

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