The Reason Everyone has Turned to Heroin and Dies

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heroinIt’s a familiar story. One that starts off in pain and ends in death. It’s a story that starts off on prescription pills and then moves onto heroin. Or maybe it’s a story of heroin cut with something. Whatever the case is, the ending of the story usually isn’t a happy one. With more and more people overdosing from heroin, it has called us to ask the question why? We have seen the numbers of heroin overdoses spike in recent months in South Florida, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and even Staten Island. And where the numbers haven’t spiked, they have stayed high and steady. Heroin is the unwavering constant, with an also cunning and deadly effect in places such as New Jersey and even Boston. 

Our story starts off with a young man. In his early thirties, he never pictured himself putting needle in his arm. A native of Boston, he started drinking at a young age, then moved on to smoking pot, then found himself taking pills and then eventually, almost inevitably, began using heroin. 

It isn’t a new story. It isn’t unique. In fact this is the story of 100,000s of addicts across the country who are trying to get the monkey off their back.

The low cost and readily availability of heroin, as well as, its euphoric nod-inducing effects, makes it an addict’s dream come true. Or maybe it’s a nightmare? But at least it doesn’t feel like it when your numbed out on the constant euphoria that a bag of dope provides.

These three factors. The drug trifecta. Cheap, potent, and available, makes heroin almost impossible to resist. Give in and your stuck. That is the catch with heroin though, it is also highly addictive, sending its victims into fits of opiate withdrawal when they try to let it go for even a day. 

This might have had something to do with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s recent inability to jump back on the clean and sober wagon. After 23 years sober, Hoffman relapsed last year, and just couldn’t get sober. The pull and allure of a cheap and potent substance, which more and more addict’s are finding themselves wrestling with, called him back and this time it killed him. The recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman is a tragedy. It is one that very well could have been prevented. Or could it?

What we are up against is a potent, powerful, and cheap substance that offers those that are willing to sell their soul before getting clean, a way out. Regardless, this recent death brings to light just exactly what is happening here. Heroin is here. Heroin is making a comeback. It has made an entrance with every coma, with every heart that has stopped, and with every chest that has stopped breathing. Too many people are dying from heroin and here is why:

As we said, heroin has the drug trifecta. Potency, cheapness, and availability. But then why wasn’t it always heroin? Why now, does it seem like everyone is turning towards this monster of a drug?

Well, if you can remember, a few years a back we were all buying our “heroin” from so-called doctor’s. We were filling our prescriptions for “heroin” at every corner Walgreens and paying maybe 30 cents a pill; one pill that could allow you to kick back and relax almost better and cleaner than heroin could. There was no need for heroin. There was no demand for it. The supply was being filled, by prescription drugs. Prescription drugs like Oxycodone and Vicodin. And that is what we were all hearing about. THE PRESCRIPTION PILL EPIDEMIC. Don’t get me wrong, this is still an issue. But recently there was a massive crackdown on prescription medication, specifically opiates, and all of a sudden, opiate addicts everywhere were left empty handed and hurting. What the hell were they going to do? As any addict knows, getting clean, usually is not the first option. Heroin not only became the better option, it also became the best option. At prices as low as 6 dollars a capsule and potency that could knock you dead, there was no question what addict’s would do.

For those who still had their Oxy scripts but couldn’t afford them, heroin said “I only cost this. . .,” for those who couldn’t get the pills at all heroin said, “I am always here,” for those who were new to the whole ordeal heroin said, “I am the best at what I do. . .” And there we have it. A huge heroin problem. A huge demand for it. 

The unfortunate consequence of heroin use is addiction as well as an unmanageable purity factor. Whereas, prescription forms of heroin such as Oxycodone or Morphine, are regulated and the purity is under no question, heroin is always questionable. The purity of heroin and what is in it, is nearly impossible to regulate. In fact it just can’t be regulated. And for any normal person this is enough to scare them off the drug all together. But this isn’t so for those who have started an affair with their miracle substance. Heroin, cut or uncut, offers an adrenaline rush due to the unknown. In fact, the bad batches of heroin, which are usually the cause of the spikes in overdoses across cities, peak addict’s interests. An addict hears about a batch of heroin, cut with fentanyl, causing people to fall out, and their first thought is “Where do I get some?” And this is normal. In fact, it is the nature of their disease. This is also the most dangerous and cut throat part of heroin use. The next shot, especially for more inexperienced heroin users, could be the one that kills them, if it has a little more this rather than that when they put it into their vein. A perfect example of this is a little girl named Emily, 16, who died the first time her friend injected heroin into her vein.

Another good example is this: Last week it was reported that heroin tainted with Fentanyl was responsible for the death of 37 individuals in Maryland. In Pennsylvania, 22 people died after using heroin that had also been mixed with Fentanyl.

This isn’t made up stuff. It is happening right now.  The epidemic isn’t starting, it has already started. 

How do we know this? Well the numbers show it.

Users: A 2012 survey by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that about 669,000 people over age 12 had used heroin at some point during the year. About 156,000 of those were first-time users, and roughly 467,000 were considered heroin-dependent (more than double the number 10 years ago.) The average first time user is around the age of 23. 

Between 1999 and 2009, 32 states saw an increase in heroin related patients, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Supply: Between 2008 and 2012, the amount of heroin seized at the Southwest border more than tripled. 

And these numbers don’t show how bad it truly is. If you know someone who is using heroin please do something! Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death is preventable and so is yours as well as your loved one’s. Heroin abuse never ends well. So if you need help please don’t hesitate to call us and get help. We can offer support, treatment, interventions and free assessments! Call us now. Because if not now, when?