Drug addiction in the United States is fast becoming a menace. An article by Perez, Dunnan and Ford titled “Ready access, low cost, pill-like high: Heroin’s rise and fatal draw” reveals that many Americans are fast resorting to heroin due to its cheapness and ready availability. This is happening in the wake of thirty-seven lives that were lost in Maryland out of the abuse of fentanyl-tainted heroin. The article suggests that although heroin has been a menace in American society for quite a while, the recent statistics are alarming.
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The number of heroin-dependent users has more than doubled, from 214,000 in 2002 to 467,000 in 2012 with the average age of first-time users being 23 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 6). Furthermore, rampant usage of heroin is prevalent among the youth, who are arguably the most productive population cohort. The article indicates that the catalytic components of the fast increase in the abuse and fatalities of heroin are its low cost, ready availability, and potency.
The authors reveal that Bill Patrianakos forsook his abuse of a prescription pill, Oxycontin, for heroin since the former was too expensive. He said he would get an equal state of high, but at a significantly cheaper cost with heroin. The rise in the cost and scarcity of prescription pain relievers is attributable to the nationwide crackdown on these substances. The article reports that police managed to seize more heroin in Delray Beach, Florida, in the first half of January 2014 than their combined seizure in the last decade.
Heroin apparently is available everywhere, be it in college campuses, down the road or fast food restaurants. David, an oxycodone addict, retorted that when he would not find his drug of choice, he would always just take a five-minute walk to get some heroin. Students pass heroin to one another in college campuses in a similar fashion to the passing of a bowl of soup. It is readily available. In fact, police in Pittsburgh arrested a McDonald’s staff on suspicion of peddling heroin in Happy Meal packs.
Instead of acting as a deterrent, the uncertainty of the potency of heroin is actually a stimulus that draws more users into abusing it. The article reveals a 19-year old boy that nearly died on two occasions due to overdose but still went back to using heroin. It only took the death of his friend, occasioned by a heroin overdose, for him to return to the rehab.
The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is one in the growing list of people who have had to bear the consequences of addiction to heroin. After successfully kicking the habit for close to 20 years, he finally could not resist the urge of going back to substance abuse. He eventually had to pay the ultimate price.
This article clearly communicates the emerging danger of heroin use. If it goes unchecked, it might have far-reaching consequences for the population of the United States. This scourge has started putting a dent in the economic competitiveness of the United States as a leading economy since the affected population cohort is youthful.
The undetermined purity and uncertainty in the potency of heroin should be of particular concern to the authorities and the medical fraternity. The authors of this article reawaken the quest for its readers to a meaningful understanding of the dangers of heroin and subsequently charge them to act in combating this menace.
Perez, Evan, Tory Dunnan and Dana Ford. “Ready access, low cost, pill-like high: Heroin’s rise and fatal draw.” CNN 2014. Web.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013. Print.