So many people think it can’t and won’t happen to them. “Heroin is a poor man’s drug” after all right? “It could never happen to me or anyone in my family”, men and women mutter far too often, that is…until it happens. Your beloved son, daughter, nephew or niece was using for years, somehow without anyone knowing. But by the time anyone found out about it, it was too late. The phone already rang and the horrifying news was already given. “I’m so sorry ma’am but your son was found dead with 2 other boys, all of them tested positive for heroin.”. Heroin overdose and death took them all, unexpectedly to the parents, family members and most friends. Only a few confidants may have known…and I bet they wished they spoke up when something could have been done about it. “Heroin is Killing My Family”, one woman said after losing her second son, one niece and a sister to heroin. Yes…heron is everywhere and it can happen to you.
Is Heroin Really an Epidemic?
Someone recently tried to explain to me that the heroin epidemic isn’t actually getting worse. It’s just that we are more aware of it now because we’re in an age of information and communication – all thanks to the many advancements made in technology. The heroin “epidemic”, she said, isn’t an epidemic at all. Either that, or the epidemic has been around far longer than most people realize. I told her she’s right. it’s not an epidemic. It’s a pandemic. An epidemic is defined by a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time. A pandemic is defined by the presence of the disease worldwide. But she’s wrong about the heroin epidemic not getting worse. Statistically, the numbers of heroin users and heroin overdose related deaths are increasing every year. See “Just Another Dead Heroin Addict? Not This Time” and scroll down to the section “Heroin and Opioid Use Statistics”.
Technically, heroin is not a disease and since nobody is forced to use it, we could debate all day as to whether or not “heroin” is indeed an epidemic or pandemic. However, many people who use heroin become instantly addicted to it and with on-going use, they become dependent. See Addiction Vs. Dependence: to learn the difference between the two. So while heroin itself isn’t a disease, heroin addiction (the disease of addiction where its object is heroin) is becoming increasingly more common throughout the world and as a result, I feel that the term “heroin epidemic” or “heroin pandemic” is appropriate, even if not 100% technically accurate. Perhaps it would be more technically sound and appropriate to use the phrases, “heroin addiction epidemic” or “heroin addiction pandemic”. Either way, “Heroin Epidemic” sends an appropriate message. Heroin is toxic and more and more people are dying from it.
Today’s Heroin is More Toxic than Ever
Heroin overdose related deaths are on the rise. This is in part due to the increasing number of men and women using heroin each year. But today, more than ever, heroin is more toxic and killing more and more people. Today is definitely not the time to start experimenting with illicit drug use. Heroin itself is only partially to blame. It’s what it’s being mixed with that’s causing even more deaths.
Carfentanil, a large animal sedative / tranquilizer never meant for human consumption, even in the smallest of quantities is being mixed with heroin. Carfentanil has been said to be 100 times stronger than fentanyl (the strongest and most powerful opioid used to treat chronic pain) and 10,000 times stronger than heroin. It’s believed that Carfentanil is being imported from China however, given that it’s a large animal sedative, I’ve often wondered if each state zoo is using it and if so, is it being taken, stolen or trafficked out by several radicals? When something bad happens the United States is quick to blame other countries which may serve as a distraction for us so that the public doesn’t become aware of the real source. But regardless, Carfentanil is spreading and recent reports have confirmed that Carfentanil has just reached Massachusetts. See “Dina, From Heroin is Killing My Town Loses Cousin to Heroin Overdose”
But Carfentanil isn’t the only toxic synthetic opioid mixed with heroin that’s responsible for an increase in heroin overdose related deaths. Fentanyl and other toxic mix-ins are regularly added to heroin as “filler” to save drug dealers money while still providing “customers” with the feeling of euphoria they’re looking for. But even fentanyl can be fatal since its considered anywhere from 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin and morphine (made from the poppy plant). See “What is Heroin and How Does it affect You?” for more information.
Why Heroin is So Dangerous
Trying heroin only one time can result in an overdose and as a result, death. See “How Heroin Overdose Can Kill You“. Those who survive have a high likelihood that they will become instantly addicted to it (making stopping almost impossible due to powerful urges and cravings) and with ongoing use of heroin, completely dependent on it (resulting in a “shock” to the body and heroin withdrawal if suddenly stopped). Heroin itself is dangerous enough but most heroin isn’t “pure” and God only knows what each batch (and bag) is mixed with. As we discussed above, Carfentanil and fentanyl are becoming more common ingredients in each bundle of heroin, making overdose and death increasingly likely.
Getting Help and Addiction Treatment
For those who’ve never tried heroin, we strongly advise you to stay as far away as possible. Don’t consider it, think about it or contemplate it. If you value your life, just say no. I know it’s not that easy for those who are already hooked, but for those who’ve never tried it, you can’t miss what you’ve never tried. See “Protecting Your Sons and Daughters from Heroin Addiction.”