Heroin Addiction Characterized By Uncontrollable Drug-Seeking No Matter The Consequences.

Dear Friends and Readers,
After the last Republican Presidential Debate, Donald
Trump was the sole guest on one of our morning political talks shows. Heroin addiction
in New Hampshire was the surprise topic of the morning.  I was caught off guard, because drug abuse and
heroin addiction and New Hampshire are not words which are usually strewn
together. Heroin addiction in New Hampshire exemplifies what a 63% increase in heroin
addiction in the United States looks like.  Every day in New Hampshire at least one person
dies of a heroin overdose.   The death rate continues to rise despite the
fact that in New Hampshire from 2005- 2015 the number of state funded drug treatment
programs rose by 90% for heroin use and 500% for prescription opiate abuse
meaning Vicodin and OxyContin.  Thankfully,
the rest of American is not in the dire state that New Hampshire finds itself.
Heroin related deaths have quadrupled over the past 11
years.  Across the United States every day
44 people die of opioid overdose, that’s about 15,840 people per year.  In 2013 more than 8,200 people died of heroin
related over doses.
Heroin addiction was mostly found in America’s urban
centers, but now has spread to the suburbs. Many of the new heroin users are
people who were addicted to prescription opiates, Vicodin and OxyContin. The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that “Most heroin users
have a history of non-medical use of prescription opioid pain killers.  These people now find it easier and cheaper to
use heroin.  After all, no prescription
is needed. Driving the rate of increase in heroin addiction are 18-25 year olds
who earn less than $20,000.00.  And heroin
use among women has doubled, as has the rate of white people (Non-Hispanic
white people) using heroin.
No discussion about heroin addiction could be complete
without a discussion about the Heroin Capital of our country, Baltimore,
Maryland, my home. Government agencies estimate that as many as one in 10 of
the city’s residents are addicted to heroin. In a city of 645,000 the Baltimore
Department of Health estimates there are 60,000 drug addicts and 48,000 of them
are heroin addicts.   Baltimore has a long history of heroin
addiction dating back to the 1950’s. In the 1990’s Baltimore became a key East
Coast distribution center for high purity heron smuggled in from Colombia, South
America. The drug was more potent than its counterparts from East Asia and
Mexico, making it more addictive and more deadly.  The heroin problem in Baltimore is so acute
that the federal government has designated Baltimore part of a High Density
Drug Trafficking Area, making the city eligible for federal assistance to local
Last year in Baltimore City 304 people died of heroin
related deaths. As one Baltimore former heroin addict says about using heroin “You
might as well put a gun to your head.” And in Baltimore city that gun held to
your head might be in the hands of another in a city where this year 300 people
have been murdered and we still have another month and a half to go.
Hopefully the topic of heroin addiction- all addiction
in America will not disappear from the presidential political dialogue. Drug addiction
is a mask of despair when individuals and groups feel that there is no hope and
no route to get from where they are to where they desire to be.  If a person’s life occurs to them as not
having value then that person is more likely to commit desperate acts
reflecting “My life doesn’t matter.”
Brianna S. Clark

The Addict Writes

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