Crack Cocaine has been in the spotlight in news lately, but what about heroin? The Register Citizen reporter Esteban L. Hernandez says at least eighteen deaths may have been caused from heroin overdose in Litchfield County, Connecticut within the last couple of months. West of Chicago in DuPage County, there were 43 deaths this year from heroin, according to Bloomberg News, Andrew Martin. Cleveland.com writer Brandon Blackwell writes that in Cuyahoga County 93 people have died from the drug during the earlier part of this year.
There seems to be an epidemic happening right now and many are not aware it is happening. Crack cocaine seems to be taking up so much of the public’s attention. What is going on with heroin is that it appears to slipping by like a silent killer unless it is in one’s own backyard. NPR’s All Things Considered states that from 2007 to 2012 the amount of heroin users increased from 373,000 to 669,000. The age of users can be as young as twelve years old. Heroin addiction is not coming out of the blue for teens; the transitional trend nowadays usually begins with opioids in the form of prescription painkillers that are abused. Opioids include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and heroin.
Bloomberg says that oxycontin, also called hillbilly heroin, has been altered to the extent that addicts are not drawn to it the way they were in the past. Pills can cost around five dollars a piece, whereas a bag of heroin can cost around $10 a bag. For a young person, the bargain makes sense. It is cheaper, accessible and a strong high, also, unfortunately, heroin is cheaper than cocaine.
In Maine 21 people died last year. In Vermont, 914 were treated for abusing the drug, according to NY Times reporter Katharine Q. Seelye. In Charlotte, NC, heroin is delivered to the suburbs. Young ministers, doctors and lawyers are the clients in the five best areas of the city, reports USA Today writer, Donna Leinwand Leger. According to Dan Goldberg and James Queally of The Star Ledger, delivery communication can occur over the internet. In New Jersey, Facebook is even used at times. One mother distraught over watching her son fall deeper and deeper into the abyss of addiction said she wished her son would die and get it over with.
Addiction is a real issue. The spread of heroin use returning is clear evidence of that fact. There was a time when addicts were obvious to see. In the 60’s until around the 80’s they were the ones standing and nodding in urban cities. Nodding looked like starting from standing tall to slowly leaning forward appearing as if they were going to fall. Right before falling they would rise up, this would occur repetitively with their eyes closed.
Today the addict lives in a good home and shoots up, or sniffs in safe areas. He or she might go into the bathroom and lock the door, or stay in their room. With delivery options and internet assistance it is a different world. Hidden in plain sight, crack cocaine gets the obvious attention. Addicted youth are asking for help; they are wondering what about heroine?
By Dada Ra