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The Opiate Epidemic is Spreading Around The World: Opiates Are Everywhere

I talk to many addicts, former addicts, and family and friends of addicts and something I often hear is, "You will not believe how bad it is where I live". My only response to this is, “I do know how bad it is...”

It does not matter how small or remote your town is, the pills have made it there. The amounts of prescriptions that are legally being written are extremely staggering.

“Pharmacies, hospitals and physicians dispensed the equivalent of 69 TONS of pure oxycodone and 42 TONS of pure hydrocodone in 2010.” “That’s enough to give 40 5-mg Percocets and 24 5-mg Vicodins to every man, woman and child in the United States.” In some parts of the country, sales increased sixteen-fold between 2000 and 2010. Meanwhile the rise increases have coincided with a wave of overdose deaths, pharmacy robberies and other drug related problems."

That statistic is for legal dispensaries.  It does not include the influx of pills being pushed through the black market or from outside of the country.  The prices of opiates on the street may vary from town to town, but one big problem is the rise of addiction. As addicts need more and more pills to feel "normal", their daily cost soon increases.  If jail or death doesn't grab a hold of an addict, the financial burdens soon will.  Many addicts are turning to cheaper and more dangerous alternatives: Heroin.  Heroin use has skyrocketed over the past 14 years in young adults.

“National data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that the number of teens dying from heroin abuse has skyrocketed. In 1999, 198 people between the ages of 15 and 24 died of a heroin overdose, compared to 510 deaths in 2009, the latest year data was taken.”

“More teens are seeking treatment for heroin abuse, too — the figure jumped from 4,414 to more than 21,000 between 1999 and 2009. Ninety percent of teen heroin addicts are white, according to the data.”

I live in Ocean County, NJ which has an extremely high opiate abuse rate.  As of June 9, 2013, 53 people had died of overdoses in 6 months which is the same amount in all of 2012!

The bottom line is no matter where you go, opiates are already there.  If you or someone you know is addicted to opiates, help them.  There is no good ending to an opiate addict if they continue with their addiction.

1. ("Analysis: High Prevalence of Painkiller Sales Turning America into Painkiller Nation."CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 05 Apr. 2012.)
2. (Murray, Rheana. "Heroin Use among Suburban Teens Skyrockets; Experts Say Prescription Pills Are the New Gateway Drug." NY Daily News. N.p., 20 June 2012. Web.)


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