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Heroin use, overdose deaths mounting in U.S.

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Does the US have a drug problem? No, drugs are they symptoms of a problem. What is it about life in the US that prople need to take drugs. Is it a totally vapid life devoid of meaning?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

From what I hear heroin us is in middle schools, it's cheap and readily available. And very, very sad. It's a nasty drug that can age a user in an excellerated pace. Physical addiction is one of the most gripping of substances.

Yes, I agree gokai. It is an underlying problem. It begins at home, school shares responsibility in raising children and entitlements remove personal responsibility and integrity. Encourage two parent families, enforce school discipline, and police entitlements. And to defend USA, most citizens have full and meaningful lives. A strong subculture exists which falls into the gimme, gimme, gimme, I can't do that, the system is against me, it's not my fault..... And the majority tolerates such attitudes. It must stop and soon. 1950 USA and 2015 USA are a world apart.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Studies are starting to find that drug addiction is born of boredom, and a lack of excitement. Some people are more prone, due to having brains that require more stimulation to keep from being bored. The poor is often more prone due to not having the money to keep themselves entertained.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Reminds me of the scene from Pulp Fiction, "Coke is dead. Heroin is coming back in a big way". Btw, seems rich people are using it toohttp://www.cbsnews.com/news/heroin-use-rising-among-women-and-wealthy/

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The biggest producer remains Afghanistan and there were less when the Taliban controlled the country. Billions of dollars poured into the country and today our young people are still paying the price. America have spent more than $30 billion on its failed war against drugs. $25 billion so far in 2015. Drug War Clock http://www.drugsense.org/cms/wodclock

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Studies are starting to find that drug addiction is born of boredom, and a lack of excitement. Some people are more prone, due to having brains that require more stimulation to keep from being bored. The poor is often more prone due to not having the money to keep themselves entertained.

This is very true. If we had more jobs and could put more people to work and give them more incentives, the drug use would fall, but as such having a stagnant economy and lack of job creation on a failed economy and a lot of graduates that so far have a bleak for for the last 6 years, I don't see the trend will change for a very long time to come.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Politicians and the media could do a lot by a willingness to openly discuss the problem, to change zoning laws to permit treatment facilities and half way houses in affluent areas where many of these addicts reside; and seek to expand the number of addiction therapists. One problem is the "puritan" attitude in much of the US that drug addiction represents a "moral" failing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

No need to get a job when you can drop out of school and collect welfare. Addictions are easier than work. You can stay up late, sleep late. Much easier compared to working minimum wage and trying to climb the ranks. Or complete school get your GED and get a college education. Effort is required here.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

The numbers for crystal meth must be off the charts then. and yet we continue to have the crazy crackdown on smoking and all. does no one realise that outright bans don't work.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"drug addiction is born of boredom, and a lack of excitement."

Yeah, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and a host of other wealthy jet-setters have had such boring insignificant lives.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The last two paragraphs of the story pretty much sum it up.

When you have members of the medical community dispensing opioids like candy you are going to get people addicted to them. Oxycontin became available in 1996 and was heavily marketed to the medical community as an alternative medication for pain management. Medical professionals taking the marketing campaign to heart began prescribing Oxycontin like crazy. By 2002 an advisory committee established that prescription opioid abuse was a public health problem. In 2008 the FDA released that advisory committees findings when they called for a reexamination of Oxycontin.

Now with a full blown epidemic of prescription opioid addiction gaining momentum the powers that be decided to put their collective feet down and do something about it. So they changed some wording on the label and started instituting policies that would make it harder to get the drug. Both from the medical community and the on the street.

Results? Thousands of prescription opioid addicts faced with diminishing access to their drug of choice and a readily available substitute on hand at one fifth the price. Should we be surprised by what we see today?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"number of people addicted to prescription painkillers, which contain the same active ingredients as heroin, and the low cost of readily-available the street drug,"

Oh, like the now-former Toyota PR exec?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Wonder why Indonesia, Singapore, etc. don't have drug problems?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Droll

You think Indonesia doesn't have a drug problem?

Google it....

7 ( +7 / -0 )

No need to get a job when you can drop out of school and collect welfare.

Then why isn't everyone on welfare?

The fact is, most people want to work and provide for themselves. Only a small, small sub-set will ever see living in poverty on welfare as preferential to working to support themselves.

Yeah, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and a host of other wealthy jet-setters have had such boring insignificant lives.

Keith Richards and Jimi Hendrix were not born wealthy jet-setters. Do you think they gained fame and then suddenly started doing drugs? Not likely.

As for other 'wealthy jet setters', boredom is relative to the person, it has no economic boundaries. It's related to the dopamine production in each individual's brain. Some rich people are bored, regardless of their wealth. You may look at them and think 'they have money, they must have such an exciting life', but when you are living that life every day, it's just your life, not something you are looking at from afar, and if you are bored, you are bored.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It's related to the dopamine production in each individual's brain.

So true. Some people jab a vein, skydive or play pachinko all day. The pleasure dopamine provides, varies from person to person & all walks of life.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

We have the US "war on terror" to thank for this. They are basically comparing heroin use before and after the US invasion of Afghanistan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

boredom is relative to the person, it has no economic boundaries. It's related to the dopamine production in each individual's brain.

Yep. So true. I took a walk every day for two weeks to quit smoking. Walked a good two hours. Just something to keep me active till a late dinner time and then sleep. Being idle / bored is when the feeling to smoke was the strongest.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Do you think they gained fame and then suddenly started doing drugs? Not likely."

Yes "likely." Keith sure did. You should read his autobiograhy, "Life." The Stones were already famous and gigging when he had barely entered adulthood. eventually he started doing drugs with the swinging 60s set. They weren't "bored," that's for sure.

"boredom is relative to the person, it has no economic boundaries"

Um, no. Rich people have way, way more choices for recreation, travel, hobbies and other spiriutally enlightening activities than do poor people. That's obvious.

Heroin is dangerous because it produces an amazing high and is chemically highly addictive. People from all socio-economic classes have been hooked.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wonder why Indonesia, Singapore, etc. don't have drug problems?

Indonesia has a major drugs problem which is why the country is strict against drug smugglers and for 1 caught 10 get pass the customs.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Here's the report:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm64e0707a1.htm

The Figure 1 bar graph shows how dramatically prescription opioids (trailed by alcohol, cocaine and marijuana in that order) have become the gateway drug for heroin.

And here's an extract from a paper on the promotion of opioids from the American Journal of Public Health:

A lucrative bonus system encouraged sales representatives to increase sales of OxyContin in their territories, resulting in a large number of visits to physicians with high rates of opioid prescriptions, as well as a multifaceted information campaign aimed at them. In 2001, in addition to the average sales representative's annual salary of $55 000, annual bonuses averaged $71 500, with a range of $15 000 to nearly $240 000.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2622774/

Thanks, Big Pharma!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

does no one realise that outright bans don't work.

So you are saying that just make them all legal, and if you want to take them do so at your own peril. I don't think that is the answer. Have you ever seen the Vice documentary about the rampant Heroin addiction in places like Iran and Afghanistan, and Russia? People are burnt out and totally wasted. Do you want a doctor working on you that you knowingly know is strung out on Heroin?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hilarious. Being "poor" = less money to entertain oneself so turn to drugs which still cost money??? Seriously how many of you have actually been on the other side of that fence? Don't talk about it unless you've been through it. Most people who turn to drugs are making some kind of income in the beginning. In some cases they start off making amazing income and become poor because they can no longer function as a working adult.

I grew up in a poor household, I worked for a living and still ended up homeless thanks the GOPs choices allowing corporations to have it their way and destroying the country trying to make an extra dollar for their elite. But not once did I ever think, "Well hell, I may as well start picking up a drug habit because I'm poor and homeless!" I didn't have time between trying to figure out where my next meal would come from and a safe place to sleep for the night where someone wouldn't either jack me or assault me.

Drug addiction is not just based on a person's perception of being bored, but also curiosity, that really important lack of common sense that says, "Hey, this is bad for me, I shouldn't even try it.", and ultimately depression and stress.

Being poor is depressing and stressful, which most folks turn to smoking or drinking. Being better off financially and still not satisfied with things one can do to enjoy life besides narcs still shows some folks lack imagination and inspiration to do all the healthier things that are available in life. Some people can't see beyond their own little box even if its lined with gold.

So many people have weak wills now. Folks that feel need to get some kind of buzz in the first place, tokers, smokers, alcoholics are in this exact same vein of thinking. They need some sort of high beyond normal every day life. Its things like this that people need to understand the phrase, "Be happy with what you have. because some way some how it can easily be taken away from you. If you lose everything like (I've personally experienced), and decide to dig the hole deeper instead of trying to climb out, then you're a damned fool through and through.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

HonestDictator - great post.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes "likely." Keith sure did. You should read his autobiograhy, "Life." The Stones were already famous and gigging when he had barely entered adulthood. eventually he started doing drugs with the swinging 60s set. They weren't "bored," that's for sure.

Gotcha. Your single anecdote disproves the scientific studies. My bad. Everyone, please discount what I've said, and your own personal anecdotes agreeing with it, as Keith Richards has proven science wrong.

So you are saying that just make them all legal, and if you want to take them do so at your own peril. I don't think that is the answer. Have you ever seen the Vice documentary about the rampant Heroin addiction in places like Iran and Afghanistan, and Russia?

These guys would disagree with you: http://www.leap.cc/

In particular, this guy explains why drugs should not be a law enforcement issue, and instead should be a mental health issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8yYJ_oV6xk

A simple breakdown of his points:

Law enforcement was created to protect people from other people, not from one's self

The war on drugs has failed

Murder rates went up during prohibition, and went down right after it (and before you comment on this, watch the video, as the year in which murder rates returned to normal has particular significance)

Having drugs be illegal creates the setting for organized crime and the black market

People aren't going to start doing drugs suddenly because it's legal. How many of you are not doing heroin, simply because it's illegal? If it were illegal, would you start doing it?

Being "poor" = less money to entertain oneself so turn to drugs which still cost money??? Seriously how many of you have actually been on the other side of that fence?

Me. I've been poor, living in an impoverished neighborhood, and I've had drug problems. Trust me, people without money can be resourceful in finding money to buy drugs. It ends up leading to a lot of crime.

Drug addiction is not just based on a person's perception of being bored, but also curiosity

Two sides of the same coin.

Being poor is depressing and stressful, which most folks turn to smoking or drinking.

Two drugs.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Basketball Diaries (starring Leonard DeCaprio) is a sad and startling movie about heroin addiction, based on true events.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A lot of poverty and stress in the U.S. Look at the drug epidemic in the homeless population in places like L.A. Surrounded by all of the glamour and materials that if used effectively, can assist those who have been dispossessed by their system that in essence creates a commodity out of people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Basketball Diaries (starring Leonard DeCaprio) is a sad and startling movie about heroin addiction, based on true events.

That was one of the first movies I ever saw with him. I knew right away he was an amazing actor. I'd like to say I loved that movie, but love isn't the right word. It definitely had an impact on me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do you want a doctor working on you that you knowingly know is strung out on Heroin?

Who says they aren't?

Approximately 10% to 12% of physicians will develop a substance use disorder during their careers, a rate similar to or exceeding that of the general population.1,2 Although physicians' elevated social status brings many tangible and intangible rewards, it also has an isolating effect when they are confronted with a disease such as addiction, which has a social stigma. This isolation can lead to disastrous consequences, both in delaying the recognition of and in intervening in the disease process, as well as in the attendant risk of death by inadvertent overdose or suicide.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2704134/

Well written @HonestDictator,

Let's not forget the roller coaster addiction of materialism - the adrenalin rush of purchasing something we can (often) ill afford, and the subsequent buyer's remorse [despite the best efforts of our cognitive dissonance] when we're not getting the anticipated dopamine buzz (and not just because the next guy has a bigger, faster, shinier one than ours) - that has millions on either side of the Atlantic enslaved in consumer debt.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kinda been waiting for someone to point out that heroin is predominantly a white problem and to attempt to explain what the deficiencies are with white culture that have led to this, but it appears this only happens when the problem is more specific to minorities.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Kurt cobain and Scott Wieland kinda popularized heroin among young white population, early & mid 90's.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When you look up statistics about cocaine use alone, there's not much of a difference between the US and Canada, Spain, the UK. When you look up overdoses, Australia also has about 4 deaths a day from drug overdose, overdoses in Canada have gone up by 200% in certain parts.

When you expand to the use of other drugs, like opiates, the US is behind the UK, Italy, and even Switzerland. For marijuana, the US is far behind New Zealand, just above Canada.

Yet every time it's a news story about the US and drugs as if the US is the leader in drug use, purchase, and distribution. When in reality, it's not true.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So many people have weak wills now. Folks that feel need to get some kind of buzz in the first place, tokers, smokers, alcoholics are in this exact same vein of thinking. They need some sort of high beyond normal every day life

I may have to read through your post more, HonestDictator. But my alcoholism had nothing to do with a weak will, wanting a buzz, or needing to feel high. Addiction is both physical and mental. By body physically craved alcohol. Mentally, well...for me alchohol was more of my feeling alone and wanting to fit in. It was a way of letting down those barriers we put up around ourselves. But in the end, I couldn't just be satisfied with the "buzz" most people can enjoy. Just wanted more and more and more.

But anyways, that was a different time. Part of my past. I'm a happy, sober, smoke-free man now.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Drugs are not just in the US they are every where, its just that the US is a big country so its the focal point of a world problem of drug use!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@misunderstood

It's also one of the most socially underdeveloped, capitalist-oriented societies in first world.

You reap what you sow.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

'1950 USA and 2015 USA are a world apart'

Yep. In 1950 the idea of social mobility wasn't seen as socialist.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Keith Richards has proven science wrong

Once again!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting. There seems to be a meth problem with juveniles where I'm from. I have to say, drugs are really plaguing our society for sure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I lost a close friend to heroin and saw how it tore apart her life, and that of her family, after she was gone. It's sad to think that this is happening to so many others.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If these drugs were legal they would be regulated and taxed by the government so the money wouldn't be funding criminals and users would have access to safe drugs that are clean with measured dosages. Those wanting to stop using would also have access to proper services to help them.

Banning something doesn't stop it happening, just pushes it underground and into the control of the criminals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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