The Heroin Epidemic
With these statistic’s it’s very clear how out of control the drug problem has become in Monroe. Heroin is derived from orphine which is a natural substance found in the seedpod of the Asian opium poppy plant. With long term use the user not only gets mentally addicted to the drug, their bodys also become physically dependent on it. According to the website drugfreeworld. org, “New painkillers came on the market with approval from the Food and Drug Administration: Vicodin In 1984, OxyContin In 1995, and Percocet In 1999.
These are synthetic (or man-made) opiates which rnlmlc (Imitate) the bodys own painkillers. ” All of these synthetic opioids are also very addictive, and they all cause he same intense withdrawal symptoms that heroin does. After the introduction of OxyContin, and Percocet, Pain Management Clinics soon followed. Pain Management Clinics are doctors’ offices that have the sole purpose of treating patients with chronic pain, usually by use of opiate pain medication.
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Some of these doctors became greedy and realized that this could be a great way to capitalize.
It cant be proven but some argue that these doctors knowing the high rate of addiction to these medications, began prescribing them to anyone, knowing that the patient would have to come back to see them when they ran out. The state and local officials soon became aware of this but the fact that It’s extremely hard to prove whether or not a person Is really suffering from severe pain, made It extremely hard for officials to addiction especially heroin addiction it’s very hard to understand what leads to it, and why people will do Just about anything to get their next fix.
With long term use the user not only gets mentally addicted to the drug, their bodys also become physically dependent on it. Intense withdrawal’s generally set in within 24 hours from their last use and get worse over the first few days. Withdrawal symptoms include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, sleeplessness, and intense anxiety. When in full blown withdrawal the user becomes very desperate. Facing both the mental and physical effects, they will generally do anything they have to do to acquire their next fix.
I interviewed 5 recovering addicts in the Monroe area who are all in a program of recovery now but did not wish to have their names mentioned. One of the female interviewees stated, “When you’re going through withdrawals from heroin, your whole existence is revolved around how you’re going to get your next fix. I would do nything to achieve that goal, whether it be steeling from friends, family, stores, or even selling my body if I became desperate enough. ” She claims, “Looking back now, it’s hard for me to believe that was me.
That’s something I never would have even thought about doing Just a few short years before my addiction began. ” They all said that their opiate addiction actually started with prescription pain killers, 4 of them said they took some Vicodin they had found in a family members or parents’ home, and the fifth stated that he was prescribed Vicodin at the age of 13 when he broke is arm. They all agreed that they never meant to become addicted but couldn’t resist the warm, calming, euphoria that the drug produced.
Not knowing how addictive the pain medications could be, they all continued taking Vicodin until they were hooked. One gentleman stated “It was all downhill from there. One day I ran out of the medication after a couple weeks of taking it and I felt awful. ” Monroe was greatly affected by this in the case of Dr. Oscar Linares. In March of 2011 the DEA, along with local and state police raided Dr. Linares’ office. According to Monroenews. om “Federal, state and local officials raided the office of Dr. Oscar Linares in a strip mall on Laplaisance Rd.
Wednesday following a 15-month investigation. Dr. Linares, 53, was arrested and charged with unlawfully distributing prescription drug controlled substances, including OxyContin. He also was to be charged with health care fraud, according to U. S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade. ” This left a huge void in Monroe, many people were now addicted to prescription painkillers and now had nowhere to get them. While some found other doctors a majority of them found Heroin, a much stronger, cheaper form of the drug that is ery easily obtained on the streets.
In 2013 the Monroe News started a campaign to aid with awareness in young teens. With articles like the two mentioned above and the very dramatic but real stories dubbed “Heroin: the drug of choice” which are real life stories of how the drug has affected others in this town. The goal was to raise awareness in young people in hopes that something they read or hear in the articles might sway them from ever trying heroin or prescription painkillers. The Monroe Police are also taking some measures to help control the ever-growing problem.
Monroe County Sheriff, Dale Malone made a cry for help saying, “The problem, he said, is not with a lack of urgency; the issue is a lack of man power. To help counter that, Sheriff Malone said the community needs to help by calling in suspicious activity Kapp to oversee Mantis, the local Narcotics Investigation Unit. Lt. Kapp states, “Heroin is the main target for local Narcotics Police Teams. ” With time Monroe will know whether or not their new tactics were effective. Many of the towns’ people hope that their city can find a way to control the problem that’s been ravishing their quiet community before it claims another life.