America has always fought a fierce war with drugs. Today, a lot of that war seems to focus on heroin. Since 2007, heroin use has increased tremendously, and almost doubled between that time and 2012 according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In America, 78 of the 125 cases of drug overdose related death every day are caused by heroin and painkillers. These statistics are not only frightening; they leave observers wondering if indeed heroin is not the new death sentence in America.
The situation is so bad that local authorizes are being to take controversial strategies to solve the problem. The Mayor of Ithaca, New York for example, is making dispositions for heroine consumers to have a place where they can inject themselves legal, but supervised. According to Mayor Svante Myrick, that’s the best option.
There are a good number of issues that can explain the rising trend in heroin use; health officials note a high addiction rate nationally, low prices, increased availability due to a surge in supply from Mexico, and increased medical prescription of the drug. At least 80 percent of the people who become addicts, switched from opioids according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The New York Times states that heroin consumption is increasing steadily in America and serious measures need to be taken to deal with the problem. Newer approaches to deal with the problem include creating centers where people can go to for a dose if they feel high, like is the case with the Boston Healthcare service for the Homeless. They opened such a center not long ago.
In addiction treatment, this is known as harm reduction. It entails ensuring that the consumer takes the drug with lesser harm rather than just be stigmatized or get expected to stop immediately.
Heroin is not supposed to be a death sentence. Experts note that compassion and some understanding could blend well with treatment efforts to win the war on drugs.