Heroin Abuse Runs High in America

In the United States, Heroin Abuse Runs High and is making a dangerous comeback which is crippling the communities in suburbs and cities alike. From 2001 to 2014, the amount of Americans who have died from a heroin overdose has multiplied by six. In Licking County, a rural county in central Ohio, the number of recorded heroin overdoses doubled last year. Even celebrities can fall victim to this dangerous drug. Look at Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead in his New York apartment from a heroin overdose.

Leading Cause of Accidental Death

With drug overdoses now being the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, lawmakers have decided to fight back. The Senate has set their party differences aside and worked together to pass a bill that will help fight America’s heroin epidemic. Rather than go the route of the failed War on Drugs, both parties vow to fund prevention and treatment programs that will help recovering addicts stay clean.

Even United States Senator Ron Johnson, from Wisconsin, recently lost a relative to heroin. In his speech supporting the Senate’s Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, Johnson called for better avenues to help addicts back on the right path. Like many Americans that have been addicted to heroin or opiates, Senator Johnson’s nephew’s addiction started with an injury and a painkiller prescription. Over time, he became addicted to the painkillers. After finishing his prescription, Senator Johnson’s nephew turned to heroin to satisfy his cravings.

With heroin use increasing, gun-related crimes are also on the rise

Police officers have been noticing a trend with the increase of heroin consumption: illegal guns. While gun-related crimes have not yet reached the levels of Miami in the 1980s, when the cocaine trade was present full force in America, there has been a substantial number of gun related crimes. These crimes don’t include only shootings and robberies, but also gun smuggling.

Guns are often used to drug dealers to protect their product and their territory. In February of 2016 police officers in York City, Pennsylvania busted a man with stolen guns and over $160,000 worth of crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and heroin. Police and government officials are scrambling to find a way to combat this new problem. Many city officials are working closely with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, in an attempt to combat the influx of guns into America’s cities and suburbs.

Illegal Firearms Complicating Things

To further complicate the matter, many of these illegal firearms have made their way into the black market through private transactions. In Vermont, where laws regarding possessing a firearm are relaxed, people would purchase handguns privately and sell them illegally. These guns would often end up on the black market in New York, where gun laws are much stricter.

Heroin abuse in Vermont and New Hampshire are at a critical level

While Vermont may boast one of the lowest murder rates in the country, it is at the center of the nation’s battle with heroin addiction. Since 2000, the cases of heroin abuse in Vermont have increased by a massive 700 percent. In some cases, addicts who are seeking drugs and don’t have money are often exchanging firearms for heroin..

Republican and Democrat politicians in New Hampshire have pulled together in efforts to fight heroin abuse in their state, which has been referred to as an epidemic. It is estimated that a New Hampshire resident dies every day from a heroin overdose. Citizens are worried and are calling for a radical solution, demanding the same time and resources devoted to the War on Terrorism overseas.

Educating Students about the effect of Heroin

To combat heroin abuse, one middle school in New Hampshire, students are being educated about the dangerous effects of heroin. Along with learning about its dangers, they are taught about Naloxone, a drug designed to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. Chris Hickey is an emergency medic who gives anti-heroin lectures at schools across New Hampshire. In five years, he went from not having the need to educate New Hampshire’s youth about the dangers of heroin, to conducting seminars specifically dedicated to heroin abuse. Although the problem has reached epidemic proportions there is help out there. If you or someone you know is struggling with any addiction seek out help. If you don’t know where to turn call a local criminal defense attorney they can usually provide you with the names of reputable recovery agencies.