DENVER (CBS4) – According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, heroin is way too easy to get in Colorado.

A former addict told CBS4’s Kathy Walsh it is now the drug of choice for many users, often the next high after abusing prescription drugs gets too expensive. The former addict and dealer says heroin is big business in Colorado.

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Billy Woodward is a DJ and an artist, but a portrait of his teenage years isn’t a pretty picture.

“That’s how I imagined it, you know, I was all alone, kind of in a rundown warehouse with all the walls falling down like around me,” Woodward said.

Woodward grew up in Greenwood Village and graduated from Arapahoe High School. He says he started using drugs at age 11.

“It was a sense of solidarity, a sense of camaraderie,” he said.

By 15, Woodward was trying acid, mushrooms and more. At 18 he was abusing prescription drugs. He then got hooked on heroin.

“It’s much cheaper. It’s about a quarter of the price and it’s probably twice as potent,” he said. “All I had to do when I couldn’t find any was go downtown to any park, anywhere, and sit around and it was offered to me.

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“I was a 20-year-old kid and I was already well on my way to overdosing and dying.”

Woodward was treated at CeDAR, the Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation associated with the University of Colorado Hospital. He’s been clean since July 25 of 2009.

“He’s a good example of someone who’s done all the right things and put his recovery first,” Steve Millette with CeDAR said.

But Woodward worries about all the others.

“If I could emphasize anything, you know, it’s getting worse, we’re fighting this losing battle,” he said.

It’s clear, heroin is big business off the misery of others. One way to fight it is to pay attention to how you dispose of prescription painkillers. As with Woodward, they are often a gateway to heroin for a lot of people.

A Colorado State University student died of an apparent heroin overdose in March.

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Last year, 10 pounds of black tar heroin were seized in Pueblo and 24 people were arrested. The drugs come from Mexico.