Authorities are calling it an epidemic: heroin addiction is skyrocketing across the state as well as here in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.
Experts say the drug is more accessible and cheaper than ever.
A young woman from Lackawanna County nearly lost her life to heroin.
Jenna Smith plays basketball with a passion and a purpose. She's a 22-year-old college student, an athlete, and a recovering heroin addict.
"I was a good kid, I got straight A's, I was athletic, I had a lot of friends and I picked up and it just took over my life."
Jenna's journey through addiction began when she was just 12 years old living at Lake Winola.
"I decided one day after basketball practice to just drink. I got alcohol poisoning. I had a .283 alcohol level. I was rushed to the hospital. I don't remember anything, I almost died," Jenna recalled. "That was my first experience with alcohol."
And it wasn't her last. Along with alcohol, Jenna tried marijuana and eventually went to painkillers like Percocet and OxyContin. Finally she turned to the one drug she promised to never try.
"It wasn't until after I graduated high school that I started heroin. I guess I started using it because I ran out of money and it's cheaper."
Jenna says she could buy a bag of heroin for $3. Experts say it's a common theme with heroin users when painkillers become too pricey, they switch to heroin.
"From what we hear from our patients it's less expensive, it's more accessible," said Dominic Vangarelli, the clinical director at Marworth, a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Lackawanna County.
Vangarelli says they've seen a significant increase in heroin patients: twice as many young adults within the past five years.
"It's sad because you have bright, intelligent people from all walks of life because it doesn't discriminate."
Here's a breakdown from the Pennsylvania State Coroner's Association showing heroin-related overdose deaths between 2009 and 2013.
The highest in our area is Luzerne County with 119 deaths and Lackawanna County comes in second with 65.
That's one reason Marworth donated Narcan kits to police departments throughout Lackawanna County. First responders may only have minutes to administer Narcan and save someone overdosing on heroin.
"This is a medicine that's sort of like epinephrine for an allergy. It reverses the overdose and it can be lifesaving," said Dr. Joseph Valdez.
Jenna came close to being a statistic. At her lowest point, she was injecting 25 bags of heroin a day.
"I wasn't even getting high. It's just so I wasn't sick. That's what happens; you just use to be able to get out of bed and to function."
Jenna knew she had to get help. She checked into Marworth and started a 12-step program.
"So I got on my knees and I started praying, asking my higher power or just anybody, that's what really made the difference. I just got on my knees every day."
"We help them to start forgive themselves to look at where there's hope because if you stay in the hopelessness which happens early on, recovery is tough," Vangarelli said.
Jenna knows that firsthand. Now her goal is giving back. She'll be done with a psychology degree soon and eventually help others conquer their addictions.
"That's what my purpose is in life. I found that through sobriety because there's only one reason I'm still here is to help other people."
Jenna has been sober for more than three and a half years and says she cherishes every day of sobriety.
Counselors stress that heroin addiction is a disease and if you know someone who is having a problem, here's a number to get help: 1 (800) 442-7722.