The 1970’s saw New York as one of the country’s biggest drug havens where heroin addiction was prevalent in the city’s neighborhoods. Public officials now claim that history may very well be repeating itself. To make matters worse, heroin’s other opiate cousins (OxyContin and other prescription drugs) are also meeting the same abuse problems. The National Drug Intelligence Center performed its National Drug Threat Assessment for 2008 and resulted in devastating findings. They reported that the number of young people who are being exposed to heroin addiction are growing fast.
The idea that heroin possession and dealing are growing in New York are further supported by the incidents of seizures in the past several years. During 2006, the National Drug Intelligence Center seized 233 kg of heroin. It was also observed that heroine and other drugs were being mostly smuggled through airports such as LaGuardia Airport and Kennedy Airport.
According to John Gilbride of New York’s Drug Enforcement Administration, the incidents of drug smuggling are almost becoming customary. And that catching heroin smugglers is becoming a regular part of the job of law enforcers.
Brown sugar in the big apple
There are several factors that might explain why heroin addiction seems to be on the rise in New York. One of these factors is the low cost of the drug. For five to ten bucks, you can get yourself a nice bag of the purest heroin in the country. That is another influential factor in the growing rate of heroin use in the city. The heroin in New York seems to beat the heroin in other parts of the country in terms of purity. The more pure the heroin is, the more it can be snorted instead of injecting the drug. Injecting heroin poses more risks and hazards than snorting the substance.
A look at the numbers
Studies have shown that 22 million Americans suffer from chemical dependency—whether it’s alcoholism, drug addiction or other substance abuse problems. Another disturbing fact is that more than 3 million Americans have admitted to injecting or snorting heroin at least one time. The age of these individuals can be as young as 12.
Heroin is one of the drugs that are causing alarm to law enforcers and to public authorities in general. Reports also say that heroin is no longer restricted to ghettos and poor neighborhoods. Respectable citizens like Wall Street stockbrokers are now also willing to spend a hundred dollars or more to access heroin.