The Epidemic of Heroin

 

I never shy away from telling my clients and their loved tan that Heroin use in this country has reached epidemic proportions.  The country has a terrible heroin problem and so does New Orleans.

 We know, that many users turn to dealers just to be able to support their own habit. At our office, we see first hands the young lives destroyed by heroin use.

A recent article in Scientific American, reminds us of the appalling toll heroin addiction has had on our society. According to the author, “in the last half century, heroin contributed to thousands of deaths, from Janis Joplin to Philip Seymour Hoffman to legions of people now remembered only by their friends and families.” 
 
Interestingly, it is the comparisons made by the article that I found most compelling. Heroin consumers of 50 years ago are very different from the users of today. Fifty years ago, a user was poor with few opportunities, probably a male who started out as a heroin user usually by age 17 years of age.  On the other hand, the user´s of today is mostly likely to be a non-urban white men and women in their late twenties whose gateway drug was a prescription opioid. It is a well known fact that for many, heroin users moved from prescription drugs when the supply dried up, as a matter of fact, “recent users said that heroin became their drug of choice because it was both cheaper and easier to get than prescription drugs….. “half of today’s users said that if they could they’d prefer prescription drugs because those opioids are “cleaner.”

 
The article states: that the “findings come from surveys of some 2,800 heroin users who self-reported demographic information and other data when they entered treatment centers. The results are in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. [Theodore J. Cicero et al, The Changing Face of Heroin Use in the United States: A Retrospective Analysis of the Past 50 Years]”

The researchers note that their study is limited because it includes only users who sought treatment. But the data seem to confirm the growing suspicion that heroin has left the city and is now comfortably ensconced in the suburbs.

I am Attorney Martin E. Regan, Jr., and these are my personal thoughts…

Read the Article:

 http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/heroin-changes-demographics/