Heroin: The Drug Killing Thousands
New wave of heroin overdose deaths nearly doubled
With the recent news surrounding Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death from an apparent heroin overdose, you begin to wonder when the demise of the dangerous drug that has consumed the American culture for so long will ensue.
Heroin has been around for decades. It comes in waves, claiming the lives of thousands, sparking serious concerns among government officials. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of recorded heroin overdose deaths nearly doubled from 1,842 in 2000 to 3,036 in 2010.
It has become the inexpensive alternative to oxycodone and other prescription opiate drugs. It’s no longer the “city drug,” now making its way into suburban and rural areas, used primarily by young adults between the ages of 18 and 29.
Heroin is sometimes referred to as the poor man’s drug, but actually, the very first American heroin users were white, working-class New York City residents. However, after World War II, it began to infiltrate the black, Puerto Rican and Mexican American community. With the hippie era in the 60s, heroin flourished. Then the 1970s hit and it became known as the hard-core, dangerous street killer drug; but was downplayed 20 years later when “heroin chic” became the term used to describe extremely thin supermodels like Kate Moss.
Today, heroin is making a comeback. This new wave is hitting communities harder than ever, taking more and more lives each year. Will it ever end?