You know things are getting bad when the heroin epidemic becomes the subject of speeches in a presidential election.
Heroin is everywhere. At its core, we see people both young and old getting hooked on opioids in the form of prescription painkillers.
Pittsburg has not been spared.
Today, we're going to talk about the problem of heroin in Pittsburg. So keep reading to find out what's going on in your city.
Heroin in Pittsburg - Rise of an Epidemic
Drugs users typically start young. Heroin in Pittsburg a different monster. The average heroin user doesn't start until their early twenties.
According to one study, the fatal overdose rate has increased by 14 fold since 1979. The demographics showing the strongest increases: White people, middle-aged people, and females.
However, kids stealing prescription painkillers out of their parent's and grandparent's medicine cabinet is on the rise. The opioids are developed for short term pain relief and have a serious risk of addiction if used on the long-term.
Marijuana doesn't give the same high as opioids. When these kids get bored of the pills, say...in their early twenties, guess what becomes their drug of choice?
What's Going on in Your City?
The main culprit is overly prescribing opioid painkillers. When an addict with decent health insurance can go down the street and get their drug of choice for cheap, how can there not be a problem?
This is no longer an urban issue. It's a city-wide, state-wide, and nation-wide concern. However, we in Pittsburg and Pennsylvania as a whole have a serious problem.
We've got the 6th highest opioid overdose rate in the country.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While 45 new treatment facilities have opened, there isn't much being done to pull the problem up by the roots.
In fact, in 2016, fatal drug overdoses rose 37%. The exact numbers?
Let's Be Honest
The government and pharmaceutical companies make a lot of money off of these products. In 2010, the figure was more than $10 billion dollars.
Yes. With a "B".
If you go into the hospital for surgery, there is a good chance you will be given Diamorphine.
What is it? It's designer, medical grade heroin. The creme de la creme, if you will.
Big Pharma wants these drugs in circulation. Heroin was created and marketed as a safe and non-addictive form of morphine. So the sad fact is that these drugs are likely not going anywhere.
Take Matters into Your Own Hands
Get the word out about heroin in Pittsburg. Talk to your school principal or superintendent. Join the PTA.
Start the process at a young age. The more young people know and understand the risks and the potential damage they can do to themselves, the less likely they are to dabble in these drugs.
They're under the impression that because these pills are labeled as a "medicine", that it's ok to use them for recreational purposes.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don't fight the good fight all by yourself. Get help.
Check out the Recovery Center website for a full guide on substance abuse centers.