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Heroin deaths surpass gun deaths in US

628 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  UtiPossidetis
For the first time, heroin deaths surpass gun homicides in the U.S. It's even worse factoring in fentanyl and other synthetics. (Washington Post)
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So . . . heroin control???
Impossible, heroin is illegal. Nobody is allowed to have it so nobody should be using it.


I have family that struggles with heroin addiction. My sister is in rehab for the 5th time in 10 years of off and on addiction cycle. Her husband has relapsed 5 times in the last 2 years for brief periods as well. My cousin is in jail currently for heroin possession and credit card theft/fraud that he got tied up in to support his habit. I've spoken with police narcotics detectives/etc on the issue as well as recovered addicts and counselors, and addiction is a complicated thing that is often spurred by other emotional/mental issues more than the drug itself.

If you sit in an NA meeting, 99/100 heroin addicts will tell you they started their habit from a prescription opiate that they were given for pain after an injury or surgery. The ones with depression or other issues usually find the euphoria from the meds hard to live without and keep taking them, becoming physically dependent. Once you've used opiates for a brief period, the withdrawals will make you so sick and miserable that you will literally do anything to make them stop and you know that more drugs are the only thing that will. Regular use of the drug messes with your brain's chemical balance even more and make depression and other mental issues even worse, and lead to dependence on your addiction to escape misery. I've never met an addict that just decided, "hey, i think i would like to start sticking syringe fulls of dangerous drugs in my blood stream because it sounds fun." Heroin is the last ditch, most affordable way to fix opiate withdraw and achieve mental escape. Heroin can be found in just about every suburb in this country, and if you ask the right questions you can score in 30 minutes or less according to one narcotics detective I talked to. It is everywhere, and the help people need to get away from it is expensive and hard to find, and the social stigma around addiction and mental health make it even harder to garner the will power needed to get that help.

If we want to solve this issue, we need mental healthcare reform. It shouldn't cost thousands of dollars to get good therapy. it shouldn't take 2-6 MONTHS to get an appointment with a new therapist. It shouldn't require a second mortgage to attend a decent rehab program. And more patients in hospitals should be allowed to experience some higher level of pain for the short term rather than disregarding long term effects and doing whatever is necessary to get them sedated and 100% pain free at the immediate moment.
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^^^ This.

Legalize and spend the BILLIONS spent on enforcement and incarceration on treatment.
For the first time, heroin deaths surpass gun homicides in the U.S. It's even worse factoring in fentanyl and other synthetics. (Washington Post)
No link to the article, but I think I remember it.

I have to wonder why they only reported the raw numbers? Is no one at the WaPo in possession of the necessary faculties, facts, and equipment to compare the number with the national population at the time?
The article is from the Washington Post (sorry I was on my phone when I posted it).

I find this an incredible argument against Gun Control. Heroin has been illegal and its derivatives are controlled substances that require higher regulation than typical prescription drugs and yet it is being abused in epidemic fashion in the US. So, laws to restrict access to it have helped how much?
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