It is becoming more and more clear to investigators and the public that heroin abuse has moved from seedy back alleys of major cities and into homes in quiet, little neighborhoods. No longer is the average heroin user a middle aged man. Instead, a typical heroin user is the average teen or young adult. Scores of overdoses are happening in communities where parents never thought heroin could touch.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the heroin problems that are destroying many of these lives are being kept quiet. People feel ashamed when instead they should be speaking up and asking for help. It is too big of a problem to keep silent, and parents fighting to save their sons and daughters from heroin or any other drug need to know that there are resources that can help. They also help shed light on the pervasiveness of the problems and can help prevent more tragedies by sharing their experiences with other parents.
Experts caution that heroin is cheap and widely available. These reasons are helping to fuel the heroin surge throughout the country. They also point out that many teenagers and adults don’t start off abusing heroin. They oftentimes start by taking prescription painkillers and then moving to heroin because the drug is cheaper and provides a similar high.
This past weekend a huge rally was held at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. called Unite to Face Addiction. Many thousands of people attended the event, which featured many speakers and performers including notable politicians, legendary musicians and people who have lost family members to addiction.
According to Donald McFarland, the communications direct for Facing Addiction, “That’s why we’re in Washington, D.C., because it is a national health-care crisis. The truth of the matter is, ‘just say no’ didn’t work and the war on drugs failed.”
Facing Addiction is a new non-profit organization that is trying to unify many groups and messages into wielding more power by acting together. Every effort helps.