It doesn't take much searching to find cases of people committing crimes or making horrible life decisions in order to get their opiate fix. To a person who has never used these drugs before, it seems unimaginable to steal, deceive people, or manipulate someone in order to get your fix, but it is an all too common reality in the United States. With the opiate epidemic spreading like wildfire, most people know someone who is addicted to opiates or someone who has been directly affected by the opiate epidemic.
On any given day, look in your local newspaper and 9 times out of 10 there will be a crime committed strictly because the criminal was addicted to drugs, specifically opiates. The amount of burglary and theft by deception from opiate addicts is growing rapidly.
The opiate black market is surging and more powerful than ever before. Lives are taken too young on a daily basis by overdoses from these powerful drugs. Opiates are easily obtained either by prescription painkillers or by heroin. Most addicts outgrow their ability to afford the prescription painkillers and resort to using heroin because it is much cheaper and gives the same high. The pills are more expensive because it is a precise high every time. You know exactly what you are getting compared to the often laced heroin. The problem with heroin is that many times it's mixed with different substances to either make it stronger or for drug dealers to be able to sell more of it. Every time heroin is administered, overdose is a possibility because the street drug is not precise. Dosages and potency can fluctuate from bag to bag making it extremely dangerous.
As addicts become more addicted to their drug, they start to rely on it on a daily basis. When they run out, many addicts become desperate in order to not go through the withdrawal process. Fear of withdrawal leads addicts to break the law in order to obtain money or the drug they are addicted to. Pharmacy burglaries are becoming common, and not for the money. Addicts are robbing pharmacies strictly to get their drugs. Many larger pharmacy chains now have armed security guards to protect the pharmacy employees. Some smaller chains refuse to carry prescription drugs like oxycodone or hydrocodone and post large signs at the store's entrance to deter robberies. The precautions that are taken have never been seen before but are without a doubt necessary to keep people safe.
Home invasions are up in many suburban areas due to the opiate epidemic. Addicts will do whatever it takes to score money or drugs. It is not uncommon for a home invasion to take place, valuables to go missing and the invaders ransacking medicine cabinets. It is obvious they are looking for things of value including narcotics.
When an addict is about to face withdrawals, they become extremely desperate. Their minds are only worried about one thing which is finding the means to stop their withdrawal symptoms. People who were once ordinary, hard working, law-abiding citizens become addicted to these drugs and in some cases become very dangerous and violent criminals. The drugs fuel the person to commit horrendous crimes that they never would of dreamed of committing when they were clean. Opiates change the way a person thinks. Their emotions also fluctuate because of the damage done to their brain chemicals.
As this epidemic continues to spread like wildfire, the crime rates in normally safe neighborhoods will see more and more crime. People from all walks of life will commit crimes and even those people in authority begin to abuse their powers and make terrible decisions in order to further their addiction. If you or someone you know is addicted to opiates, please seek professional help immediately.