Rising Heroin-Related Deaths Cited in Multiple States

There are heroin addicts all over the world; however, it seems that there is a significant concentration in the United States. Unfortunately, this is the case with many drugs, as Americans’ consumption drives up the demand. Experts are currently working to handle the problem as more states report a significant increase in heroin-related deaths. Indiana, Kentucky and New Jersey have all recently made declarations to reverse the epidemic they’re facing.

The cartels in Mexico and South America have been smuggling drugs into the country for decades. The demand for heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine are so extreme that the cartels are able to use the profits from drug sales to essentially wreak havoc on Mexico cities and small towns along the drug route. Despite a concentrated effort by the U.S. and Mexican governments to prevent the drugs from crossing the border, little has been accomplished in thwarting the trafficking.

While thousands of pounds of drugs may be seized each year and hundreds of arrest are made, due to the insatiable demand for drugs in the U.S., someone else will always be willing to step in and take over the supply chain. This is why reallocating more people to treatment and prevention is so necessary. The conversation has never been more relevant than now.

Trying to pin the rising death rates on the cartels would be misplaced blame. Everyone shares responsibility in reversing these disturbing trends. There are many more things we can do as concerned members of our communities to help prevent people from turning to drug abuse. Using effective intervention and treatment practices to help those already addicted is the next line of defense.

Another Lesser Known Effect of Casual Drug Use

Most experts would agree that the best way to reverse the pattern of addiction in our nation is to do a better job of drug education and prevention. While there are some great programs available for people of all ages, many of them leave out the extended reach of the consequences caused by illegal drug use.

Many casual users, especially young adults like college students, are completely unaware of what they’re promoting when they occasionally use marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs. Socially conscious and aware people understand that the drug trade fuels violence, both in our country and others, especially Mexico. However, few make the link that their joint or bump is funding cartels that are committing murder daily on both sides of the border.

About 90 percent of the cocaine abused in the United States reportedly traveled through Mexico before it was packaged and sold to people around the country. In order to get the cocaine from Mexico and into the U.S., cartels employ many different methods, but one outcome has always been the destruction they leave in their wake.

Despite what many believe, many Mexicans and residents in other South American countries that are affected by the cartels and drug routes, do not want anything to do with illegal drugs. Unfortunately, they often have little choice but to get involved, or they will become subjected to the violence. The drug cartels often force people to smuggle drugs into the U.S. by kidnapping them, threatening their families or by charging such extreme tolls on common routes into the U.S. that people have no choice but to agree to smuggle in drugs.

The violence that is associated with cartels is nothing new, but it continues to be terrifying and used as a method to frighten and manipulate. Those that speak out against the cartels or refuse to join or will not help smuggle drugs into the U.S. are in real danger of physical retaliation and likely death. Families of those that resist the cartels are also in danger – many are killed when a loved one will not comply with the cartels. These drug lords have also targeted local media and frightened them into staying away from reporting their activities.

The only reason why this violence and torture is allowed to exist is because the demand for drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine are so strong in the United States. Our country consumes a large portion of the illegal drugs in the world, despite having a relatively small population in comparison to other major nations.

While some say the answer is to simply legalize the drugs, they’re also being naive and irresponsible, as a nation full of drug users means increased violence, crime, accidents and injuries here as well. The answer, then, really does seem to come around to more effective drug education and prevention practices to reduce the demand, but it goes well beyond that. We must work to solve societal problems that generate the desire in individuals to seek out relief through these chemicals.