Heroin is a drug that targets the pleasure center in the brain and Opioid receptors, looking to increase levels of Dopamine and Endorphins in the body. This creates a sense of euphoria while removing pain. Morphine and Vicodin are almost identical on a molecular level, except they have less euphoric properties and are therefore less addictive. The addiction rate for their illegal counterpart is so high, that trying the drug only once has a 23 percent chance to hook the user for life. And what is worse, is that the demand for heroin is gearing up as global use is skyrocketing.
Reports are flooding in from all over the world that global syndicates are getting more cunning. The most impressive such report came from Great Britain, when officials at Manchester Airport intercepted a £5 million shipment of Heroin that was being smuggled into the country from Pakistan, by way of Abu Dhabi. The drugs were concealed in a shipment of 46 hand woven rugs. The Border Force Officers found the shipment suspicious, so they summoned the drug dogs to investigate. The use of dogs ensured that upwards of 50 kilograms of gear (heroin) to be uncovered by the proper authorities.
The problem is not exclusive to overseas either, there have been numerous incidents released to the public in the past few days alone. The most bizarre of which involved 16 guns, 1500 bricks of heroin, over $100,000, jewelry, Cuban cigars, Trevor Townsend’s Pittsburgh home and a live chicken. Apparently, two men, James Perrin and Price Montgomery, were part of an upper-level drug dispersing organization that agents were investigating for months. The men were searched after the agents saw them getting into an Audi, the search of the Audi uncovered multiple bricks of heroin and a few pistols in a backpack. That discovery was enough to merit a search warrant for the house, which led to the discovery of all the other items. The two were subsequently arrested, and it was found that Montgomery was living in Townsend’s home without Townsend’s knowledge. Townsend was leasing his home out while coaching in Mississippi, he was very surprised to find out what his home was being used for. The chicken’s relevance is still unknown.
A few days ago, a six year old girl was found to have a minimum of 10 packs of heroin on her person when she came into her Philadelphia elementary school that morning. Her teacher noticed that she and the children in her vicinity were playing with foreign packets and went over to investigate. When she reached the children, she immediately identified the deadly drug and sent her entire class to the hospital to ensure none of the kids were in any danger, as some children went so far as to put the packets in their mouths. The parents of the child who brought the narcotics were found to have much more at their home along with several bags of cannabis. The state of affairs in the house was enough to get the parents convicted, though not for endangering the class.
Pennsylvania has been the only state mentioned thus far, but it is most definitely not the only one with a problem. The epidemic is so bad in New York that Governor Andrew Cuomo has stepped in to fight it with legislation. Beyond the heightened awareness for the problem, the legislation has brought along with it, Naloxone (overdose antidote) for all police officers, and 100 new officers joining the ranks of New York’s Narcotics team created in 1991. Beyond doubling the Narcotics team, New York will try to end the shame of addiction by making treatment more accessible.
The source of the surge is Afghanistan. Before the American occupation the region was run mostly by Al-Qaeda. Their rule was strictly governed how Al-Qaeda interprets the Muslim law, which is indisputably against drugs of any kind. That being said the punishment for taking any drug was quite severe, and growing poppy was strictly forbidden. It was not until the American occupation that the once flourishing poppy fields were replenished with the opium producing plant. Vice on HBO had a sobering piece on how Afghanistan now produces over 75 percent of the world’s heroin, and that now Al-Qaeda is easing the process due to the sheer profitability of the trade. Their gearing up production is causing prices to plummet, while use is rising higher than the increase in quality and demand for Heroin.
By Eddie Mejia