Heroin and America

When I was growing up, heroin was for derelicts and jazz musicians!  Let’s face it, who did you know who did heroin?   THIS story started me thinking again….the facts are that many Americans are doing heroin and I’m curious as to WHY?

Is it:

Culture that’s falling apart?

No hope as far as job availability being so low?

Such division in our society?

Lack of extended families sticking together?

Too easy availability?

You tell us.  Have you known a heroin addict?  Did they recover?  Would you please share their story?  Do you believe marijuana is what they sometimes refer to it as a ‘gateway drug’ which can lead to cocaine or heroin?

“According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2012 about 669,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year,1 a number that has been on the rise since 2007. This trend appears to be driven largely by young adults aged 18–25 among whom there have been the greatest increases. The number of people using heroin for the first time is unacceptably high, with 156,000 people starting heroin use in 2012, nearly double the number of people in 2006 (90,000).”  From THIS ARTICLE.  (The good news in this article is teens are doing it LESS than those aged 18-25 but I’m thinking it’s availability and cost that might prohibit them…)

Growing up I saw plenty of pot, I saw cocaine……no heroin.  Ever.  Did you?

What can be done to stop this awful trend?  Parents are doing heroin and crack cocaine to the detriment of their children!

Think we have any hope for getting them off it? Or is this question too broad?  Are they really just hundreds of thousands of addicts with individual stories which pushed them to it or could I be right and there are societal, systemic problems which turn young people to such a hard drug?  It’s absolutely not as popular in Europe…why not?  Is that part of the equation which could help us figure out why it’s become rather rampant here?

Let’s talk about it.

Z

 

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37 Responses to Heroin and America

  1. I don’t have any current personal experience with the drug scene.
    You do mention the culture when we were growing up.
    When I was a young adult I was exposed to marijuana laced with some kind of drug, you never knew what, perhaps PCP, perhaps animal tranquilizers, that enhance the buzz.
    And then some people came to the conclusion that they no longer needed the marijuana as the delivery mechanism and would go straight to the chemical.
    Later, when I was doing hash I found that there was a tendency to mix heroin into it. They called it chibble. And I found the some of my friends later discovered they like the heroin more than hash. And overdosed. I knew that if I ever went for heroin it would be my drug of choice for turning the switch off.
    So are these gateway drugs? It sure seems like it to me.

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  2. IMO the trend has a lot to do with over-prescription of opiate pain killers.
    Marijuana is most certainly a gateway drug: to tobacco.

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  3. Mrs Grundy says:

    Opioides being harder to come by… heroine is cheap and is filling the gap.

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  4. Kid says:

    Pure speculation,m but I’d say your list is a pretty good ohe., Everytime the local news is turned on it seems they’re talking about a local couple found passed on in their car with their kids OD-ing on heroine.

    I’d say Maryjane is not a gateway drug to hard stuff. I saw MJ, a tiny bit of cocaine (tried it once and said to myself $100 for this? Forget that) and Qualudes – the true aphrodisiac (that I also tried once.) Never injected myuself with anything and never knew anyone who did, and this is the 60’s and 70’s where you could easily get anything you wanted.

    I’d say instead that some people are just pre-disposed to doing hard drugs.

    What can be done. The portugal model of decriminalizing it resulted in people getting help instead of hiding from tthe cops and fewer addicts was the result. So, I wouild support decriminalizing it for users, treat it instead like a disease such as alcoholism, and keep it criminal for dealers.

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  5. Sparky says:

    Even though I grew up in the 70s, I’ve never been attracted to the drug culture. I did a paper on the illegal drugs at the time in, I think, Science class, and the effects of using drugs scared me good! I never want to be a part of any of that and don’t hang out with anyone that does. It’s sad to want to be zonked out all the time.
    My two cents is it’s a lack of Christian upbringing that really took hold of our Country around the 60s. We’re born empty vessels and are suppose to fill ourselves up with Christ and His goodness. When we don’t, we seek out things that are destructive, not just drugs. That’s why we’re in such moral decline. Our society has kicked God out of Government, Schools, technology, entertainment and even many Churches. This is what has taken His place.

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  6. bocopro says:

    Detecting and preventing drug use were hi-priority issues while I was still on AcDu. During one of the countless seminars I attended, the facilitator introduced himself and began the discussion by asking this question: “Why have drugs become so commonplace in society today?”

    Since no one volunteered an answer, he pointed to a Lieutenant Commander directly across from me in our carefully arranged circle of chairs and repeated the question. Nobody really wanted to be there, and the LCDR clearly didn’t like being singled out, so he said, “Oh, I donno . . . maybe it’s just Mother Nature weeding out her garden.”

    About three guys later, it was my turn. He had modified his question a bit and asked for a single-word response as to the cause of the problem. When he pointed to me, I said, “Jaded.” He didn’t get it, so I had to explain my answer to him by saying, “Disillusionment.” Another junior officer assisted me by saying, “Boredom,” and another chimed in with, “Self-indulgence.”

    Always nice to get those mandatory seminars off on the right tone.

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  7. The overprescribing of oxycontin and other opioids is a part of this problems. The prescription pills are outrageously expensive — especially for those on Medicare — so many are turning to heroin, which is much cheaper.

    Also, as a result of the Sixties, we have become a people who believe that there is a pill to “fix” everything. What a wrong-headed idea!

    I highly recommend that those interested in the topic of this blog post read Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop, which is available at many public libraries. I just finished reading my library copy. Excellent read! And not a tome, either.

    Doctors often mean well. But most primary care doctors are not expert enough with pain management and either prescribe too much or too little to a patient who indeed needs medication for pain (neurogenic pain syndrome, for example). I myself have a pain management specialist.

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  8. There’s probably a thousand different reasons for the increase in drug addition and overdoses. They will vary by the individual, as illustrated in the comments above. Some folks would be better off channeling their energy into religion; some into labor; others into intellectual pursuits….all dependent on what factors led them to abuses illegal drugs.

    The bottom line is that we live in a self-indulgent, drive-by, disposable society…where leisure and instant gratification have never been more available…or ironically more sought after.

    The zombie apocalypse will take care of this problem.

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  9. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, I do think one drug leads to the other…not always, but for those with that inclination and not a strong support system, that’s what’s happened too many times. I’m not sure many people go from not doing drugs to shooting heroin.

    Convergentsum and AOW…I agree. That’s an angle I hadn’t considered…yes, opiates can lead to illegal drugs, plus I do believe heroin is cheaper and can be easier to get if one knows where to get it. I sure wouldn’t know where to start! 😉
    AOW, you read some heavy stuff!

    Bocopro…all excellent reasons for drug abuse….good job.

    Sparky, I do believe you’re right …for many people, that ‘God shaped hole’ is filled with drugs to pump oneself up, take away emotional or physical pain, give one a reprieve from life. If they only knew what they’re missing.
    Also, I think shame is highly underrated and kept many of us from even contemplating doing more than the occasional recreational drug…..if we even did that.

    Kid, I think there is probably a predisposition as there is to alcohol but, as I said, I doubt people go from doing no drugs to heroin.

    CI, I do think there is probably a general “10 good reasons” with variations on each theme. For some reason, a Mexican valet yesterday at a restaurant parking lot brought up Trump and the wall and I brought up drug cartels and he shook his little finger in my face and said “What America has to do is teach its children NOT TO TAKE THOSE DRUGS!” I said “Amen to that.”

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  10. geeez2014 says:

    Well, WELL, DJT did amazingly well in the press conference with PM May just now…Dignified, friendly, articulate..no bragging, no whining. Excellent job!
    I think a lot of her, too. Very together lady.

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  11. Bob says:

    I don’t bring anything to the discussion about drug use. Marijuana was fairly prominent when I was a young business man, and so was cocaine. Some of the users were just pot-heads, and I resolved that I was not smart enough to compete with the very best if I were doing drugs.

    Donald Trump is worth emulating, here. He does not drink, smoke, or do drugs. He goes to bed late, and rises early to work on his projects. He is excited about life! I believe that many young people find their reward in drugs, not business competition or achievement. The problem there is that the entire nation is not successful under the guidance of the Democrat Party, the party of drugs, abortion, and free drugs.

    It’s the Dem’s fault.

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  12. geeez2014 says:

    Bob, you know, I look at gatherings of Republican young people and Democrat young people and frequently ponder the difference in the Reps being so clean cut and the Dems …well, NOT.
    This is an exaggeration because not all Dem events are this ‘out there,’ but to see young women naked with pasties and dressed like penises and wearing vaginas on their heads, tattoos all over, etc., at the “Women’s March” is an example.
    You never saw young people at Tea Party gatherings dressed like that…
    And this is my observation even at the Conventions, the youth in the crowds are SO DIFFERENT.

    Do I think only Dems do drugs? Of course not!! But there IS a mindset.

    Ed, you’ve said you did drugs as a young guy; you were a liberal then, too, am I right?
    Can you speak on your morphing into a conservative and drug use, etc., if you don’t mind?..

    Yes, this is one aspect DJT is worth emulating…He is VERY excited about life, great point, Bob…that’s VERy clear. And yes, I think our kids are decidedly NOT excited about life….you can’t be when morals are rock bottom and, tho you’re doing all this ‘free living’ stuff and you’re still miserable. It’s like “where do I go from HERE?” NOwhere to go; do drugs…you go happily and stupidly into oblivion, at least for a while.

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  13. geeez2014 says:

    OFF TOPIC: I find it ironic and even humorous for the leftwingers on TV Talk shows this morning bemoaning DJT’s threat to what they call “the wonderful relationship we’ve had with Mexico for so many years.”
    Yes, “wonderful,” if you consider millions of their people breaking the law and taking advantage of our country as they have. “WONDERFUL?” And not ONE newscaster has come back with that response.

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  14. Mal says:

    @ Kid……I believe decriminalizing anything leads to a belief that its okay to use. When I was in high school, it was during WW ll in the 1940’s making me the age of the parents for most of you. These drugs were unheard of at that time. Even Mary Jane was very rare and I knew of no one that used it. Cigarettes was the big thing, and although I didn’t smoke, most all my buddies did.
    I see more and more legalizing of marijuana by the states, including my state of Nevada recently, like 24 hour drinking and gambling didn’t cause enough accidents! Maybe going to self driving cars is a smart move after all, huh? I fear we are in a downward spiraling society. So sad.

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  15. I’m surely in the minority on this, but I don’t believe that the hallmark of a free society is criminalizing what a Citizen imbibes or ingests….especially when there are other legal [with corporate logo’s, trademarks and lobbyists] stimulants and inebriates. Liberty is messy…but that’s the point.

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  16. Kid says:

    MAL, Just saying Portugal had the opposite result. I’m with you on the downward spiraling society.

    http://tinyurl.com/ztfwz25

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  17. geeez2014 says:

    CI, I doubt anybody thinks that’s the HALLMARK OF A FREE SOCIETY…

    Mal is right….legalizing connotes acceptance and approval…and that shouldn’t be.
    What a lovely world, where drugs were barely heard of. That they’re so rampant now is sad, meanwhile we smack ourselves on the back that, as a country, cigarette smoking is down…and our kids are snorting coke and shooting heroin and committing suicide on an unacceptable basis.

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  18. geeez2014 says:

    Oh, man, Kid, and I’d JUST had a late lunch! Blech!!

    OFF TOPIC, I enjoyed reading this as part of an article I Googled about ‘extreme vetting,’ my two most favorite words these days;
    “Ryan said “the media has over time had a bias against conservatism.” He offered no examples.”

    “He offered no examples.” HAAAAAA!! Typical AP article. No, there are NO examples of any bias against conservatism in media 🙂
    Check this out:
    “Earlier today, CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted out a Bible verse about how lying is a sin. He didn’t mention any names, but it’s telling that Donald Trump‘s supporters assumed he was talking about the President.
    (It’s easy to tell which ones are Trump fans because of all the spelling and grammar mistakes in their tweets.)

    Follow
    Jake Tapper ✔ @jaketapper
    Proverbs 12:22: Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight. ”

    “it’s easy to tell which are Trump fans because they’re …morons?” no bias, right?

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  19. Imp says:

    “I look at gatherings of Republican young people and Democrat young people and frequently ponder the difference in the Reps being so clean cut and the Dems …well, NOT.”….

    Most of them have in common one important thing…..they’re godless, lacking religion or faith…and drugs are “HIP”. They think it’s cool and anti establishment.

    Drugs…one word…”Escapism”. They have life-a-phobia and very little in the way of self respect or goals.

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  20. geeez2014 says:

    Imp…I agree. And I hope this country can change it around for these kids. I don’t see how.

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  21. I told my testimony on air to Bill Bennett:
    [audio src="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/41339180/Ed%20on%20Bennett%20about%20drugs.mp3" /]
    A bit of a conversation with him.
    It also hits the legalization topic.
    I didn’t mention that My friend in high school who introduced me to pot effectively introduced me to Jesus.

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  22. Kid says:

    Sorry for the visual Z !!!!

    As a 20 something, I didn’t even KNOW anyone who had a tattoo outside of maybe a Marine who had the Globe and Anchor on his bicep. And I didn’t know any of those personally.

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  23. Mal says:

    C.I., what you say is correct about being a free society, but even a free society must strive to protect its citizens and that applies to anyone that is in one way or another impaired. Otherwise, you could also say, for example, I should be free to drive over 100 mph down Wilshire Blvd., etc.

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  24. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, what do you mean by ‘impaired’?

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  25. bunkerville says:

    The local paper every week it seems list someone in their obituary with the start “Died unexpectedly..” In their twenties or thirties, I have no idea what the draw is. I find pain meds unpleasant so apparently not a candidate for addiction.

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  26. Mal – But you’re conflating what one does with one’s own body…..with placing others in danger. We have laws against operating a motor vehicle while impaired…irrespective of what the substance is. If you position is one where the State should protect it’s Citizens from, essentially themselves, then cigarettes and alcohol [not to mention risky leisure activities] should be banned as well, no?

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  27. geeez2014 says:

    CI…an important part of this is CONTEXT. America’s never been a country of druggies.. it’s something we’ve frowned on. It’s like in Germany the TV ads show half naked people in the shower selling soap and we’re SHOCKED but they are not…it’s normal for them.
    Drugs aren’t normal here. Alcohol and cigarettes are….no doubt dangerous to health, but normal since the first days of our country.
    Alcohol is acceptable. Pot isn’t. Or wasn’t. A country which tries to MAKE it normal is a country that’s lost, in my humble opinion, because of what it does to kids….normalization of any drug gives tacit approval that it’s okay to do it with no consequences. And, why should the gov’t say “okay, let’s legalize and then we’ll pay for their rehab?” WHAT?

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  28. Imp says:

    “then cigarettes and alcohol [not to mention risky leisure activities] should be banned as well, no?”

    As far as Alcohol goes…..we have very strong DUI laws and severe punishments. We tried once to outlaw and banish it but we know that failed….and that amendment was abolished. Of course the same DUI laws won’t stop every dumbass drunk from driving….but I would hope that when caught they get that the most severe punishment and lose their DL privileges….which is not a right. Drugs? We have no damn idea who’s stoned / impaired on pot….soon we’ll know maybe….but not yet, which of course should have been in place before the idiots legalized this mind altering substance. But everyone was under the idiot impression that pot had no effect on people unlike what alcohol does and is usually clearly visible….but pot was considered a goof and socially acceptable as well as kind of “invisible”.
    I’m not against medical uses for pot…..as it’s been proven to be helpful with pain, cancer and glaucoma patients. But the rest of it…pure self indulgence and solely to be..well…cool and hip and accepted.

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  29. geeez2014 says:

    Imp; Amen, bro! XXX

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  30. We have no damn idea who’s stoned / impaired on pot…

    Then why do people who get pulled over for i paired driving, and have been smoking marijuana, get arrested for DWI? I’m not sure what your point is….you seem to be arguing against something that is already occurring: penalties for endangering others.

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  31. Imp says:

    “pulled over for i paired driving, and have been smoking marijuana, get arrested for DWI?”

    It’s all the Twinkie’s and Cheetos stuffed in their pie holes while driving 20 MPH under the speed limit that gave them away? Nabbed while driving away from a Safeway or a 7 11?

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  32. Mal says:

    By “driving impaired” I meant under the influence, whether it be by drugs or alcohol. Sure, Imp. Why wouldn’t they be arrested for DWI if they had had enough marijuana in their body that it affected their ability to drive safely? I guess I don’t understand the confusion.

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  33. Mal says:

    Don’t the police have a method of testing at the scene to establish if they are “impaired”?

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  34. Over the course of my 26 year Police career one thing was repeated over and over again. I don’t remember ever talking to a hard core drug addict who didn’t say they started smoking pot. I’ve always heard it’s about chasing the high. When one drug gets boring or doesn’t do it for you, you move up. As for alcohol, it’s possible to drink socially without trying to get trashed. The object of smoking pot is to get wasted. Alcoholics are out there. I’ve seen my share of them. Any drug has risks. But I’m convinced that pot is a gateway. Is marijuana “medical”? I’m not convinced. I only know what I’ve been told by addicts and what I’ve seen.

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  35. The object of smoking pot is to get wasted.

    I disagree with this….as a generalization. Most people I know who smoke marijuana, do so in that same manner as I enjoy an dram of single malt scotch….to merely relax and unwind. Add to that, PTSD is a very dear issue to me, and many of my peers have benefited from using marijuana to cope with their stress….without drinking and becoming violent. I understand that your experience is different, but please know that there are those who benefit from marijuana.

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  36. Kid says:

    Hear Hear.

    How many hard core druggies started on MJ, versus how many MJ uses moved to hard drugs ?
    I don’t know the answer but my personal experience says that very few moved from MJ to the hard stuff.

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