Friday, September 9, 2016

The Heroin Epidemic

Heroin is everywhere. It's in our cities...it's in our suburbs...it doesn't discriminate against color or background. And it's scary as fuck.

I woke up this morning to read an article from the local Fox station's Facebook page, Fox 43. THIS is the photo that stared back at me ( WARNING! NSFW/viewer discretion advised ):


This photo was taken by the East Liverpool Police in Ohio. The man was driving erratically and almost hit a school bus. When cops approached the vehicle, the male told them ( bobbing in-and-out of consciousness ) that he was taking the already incapacitated female to the hospital before, he too, went unconscious. But the kicker: do you see the poor 4-year-old boy in the backseat witnessing ALL of this?!?! Both of these people literally look dead in this photo, while this innocent child sits in the backseat, unknowing to what is really going on. These adults could have killed this child, driving under the influence...and he's pretty much witnessing two people dying right in front of his eyes.

Apparently, both adults were giving multiple doses of Narcan and were taken to the hospital where they did survive: so to those of you who are offended by the image, they aren't dead in it. Even flushed of all of their color and turning blue, the Narcan did it's job and reversed the overdose. They DID survive...but are facing multiple charges.

But within those charges, they will surely lose custody of their child. And then that child, unless a family member steps up, will go into the system. And the system will have that child going in and out of families where "he just wasn't a good fit". Until that child is 18 and considered an adult and can make his own decisions. And the cycle continues. 

Now that's just, of course, a worse-case scenerio. But in either case, heroin is not only ruining the lives of those doing it, but it's also ruining the lives of their children. 

I was not personally affected by heroin ( aside from finding used needles outside of my old apartment in Carlisle ) but I have a close friend who dealt with it first-hand. Her husband became addicted to heroin. She stayed by his side for 2 years. She called me multiple times just upset and devastated because he was stealing from her, he faked a home robbery and stole the TV for heroin, he was draining their bank account, wasn't coming home at night, fucking other women. But she loved him. He was the father of her children. And she fought for 2 long years before she finally had the courage to give up.

You can't help someone who doesn't want help.

Heroin ruins families. It hurts children. It hurts relationships, romantic or friendship-wise. It hurts the community. And it hurts the person doing it.

No one just wakes up one day and says, "I think I'm going to shoot some heroin today"...it usually starts as narcotic pain pills. Street value for pills like this can get pricey, and with so many prescription regulations, it's becoming harder and harder to abuse the drugs. So in turn, people result to the cheaper alternative: heroin. And it becomes a downward spiral from there.

I truly don't know how we, as a society, are going to nip this epidemic. It's spreading to pretty much everywhere. I read an article last week that stated that a girl had been robbed and shot with a BB gun multiple times one block down from where I used to live. Dickinson College students reside in that city 9 months out of the year. People take their children and dogs for walks daily. Young adults attending the local bars nightly. And it's not even safe to do that anymore.

It's truly scary to see the reality of this drug and how much it hits home for so many people. And, although the photo above disgusts me, it's a reality that some people deal with every. fucking. day...

The full article that I read this morning can be found here

And if you or someone you know and love is a heroin addict, you can go to websites like this for tips on how to try to help them.

There is support out there for addicts and victims of addicts alike. Research and educate yourself.