By Justine Zaki
One hundred and eighty five deaths in four months. Twenty thousand dollars for treatment. In the past 12 years, America has seen an opiate overdose increase of 90%. These numbers all have to do with one drug that will get you hooked after one try: Heroin.
When people think of heroin, they usually tend to think of some junkie or homeless guy shooting up on the side of the street, or even a celebrity they heard of on the news, but no one imagines that the person next door could be an addict to this monster drug.
Massachusetts has seen a surge of heroin use, and not one town is left out from its effects. If you ask around enough, you can probably find someone who knows a victim to heroin abuse. With all county’s included, the price of this opiate has gone down (sometimes even less than marijuana) and it’s become more and more potent.
People tend to shy away from the subject of drugs, relating it to nothing but punishment and failure. In school we learn about all of the effects of drugs, and how to avoid them at all costs. So why do people keep using them? And why are teenagers and young adults moving to harder and more dangerous drugs?
Together as a community it is our job to support and help our citizens, not punish them. We should be committed to seeking the root of our national drug problem, not simply waiting for the effects. Focusing more on the problem that triggers a drug addiction will help our teenagers and other citizens not choose to throw their life away and start to work on themselves.
Drug addicts and dealers that are in prison should be given more opportunities for rehab and therapy, instead of waiting to finish their sentence and start all over again. Our mental health is what drives us to make decisions, and if it’s not stable, then what good are our choices?
People use drugs and alcohol as solutions to underlying problems. So if you know someone who has an issue or you get a hunch that they’re at risk for abusing drugs, help them figure out and solve their problem before they turn to other dangerous solutions.
If you already know someone who is abusing drugs, talk to them. When you talk, you let your feelings out. Help them understand their problem and help them get support. Don’t let them become another statistic or let them land in prison.
Heroin and other drugs are demons that disguise your problems, and it is up to you to take their masks off and defeat the real problem head on.
Crisis Call Center
800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
National Mental Health Association Hotline
The National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information Center
Information on prevention and treatment referrals.
(800) 662-HELP or (800) 662-4357