- Aug 28, 2015
Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin on February 6, 2014 in St. Johnsbury Vermont. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin recently devoted his entire State of the State speech to the scourge of heroin. Heroin and other opiates have begun to devastate many communities in the Northeast and Midwest leading to a surge in fatal overdoses in a number of states. As prescription painkillers, such as the synthetic opiate OxyContin, become increasingly expensive and regulated, more and more Americans are turning to heroin to fight pain or to get high.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
he New York Times recently published an article titled, “In Heroin Crisis, White Families Seek Gentler War on Drugs.”
In this piece, middle-class white families, mostly from suburbs and small towns, detail their traumatic experiences with heroin addiction, also known as "smack." One white New Hampshire man interviewed for the piece talks about how he viewed people battling addiction as “junkies” until he recognized their faces in his own high-achieving, privileged daughter.
Here are some revealing numbers from the piece:
- Deaths from heroin rose to 8,260 in 2013, quadrupling since 2000 and aggravating what some were already calling the worst drug overdose epidemic in United States history.
- Nearly 90 percent of those who tried heroin for the first time in the last decade were white.