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  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Philip Seymour Hoffman Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg Of The Raging Heroin Abuse Epid

    Philip Seymour Hoffman Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg Of The Raging Heroin Abuse Epidemic In America

    By Michael Snyder, on February 4th, 2014

    According to the federal government, the number of heroin addicts in the United States has more than doubled since 2002. Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, it is being reported that heroin-related overdose deaths have risen 84 percentjust since 2010. The truth is that the recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman is just the tip of the iceberg of the raging heroin abuse epidemic in America. Heroin is cheap, it is potent, and it is very similar to the legal painkillers that millions of Americans are currently addicted to. According to ABC News, Hoffman was found “with five empty heroin bags as well as many as 65 more bags that were still unused” when his body was discovered on Sunday in his New York apartment. It is a great tragedy, but the reality is that tragedies like this are happening all across the United States every single day. Heroin is the the number one killer of illegal drug users, and as heroin use continues to rise so will the number of dead bodies.
    Philip Seymour Hoffman was at the peak of his career and seemingly had so much to live for when he died. The following is how the New York Timesdescribed what was found in his apartment…
    Detectives found dozens of small packages in the West Village apartment where Philip Seymour Hoffman, the actor, died on Sunday. Most were branded, some with purple letters spelling out Ace of Spades, others bearing the mark of an ace of hearts. At least five were empty, and in the trash.
    Each of the packages, which can sell for as little as $6 on the street, offered a grim window into Mr. Hoffman’s personal struggle with a resurgent addiction that ultimately, the police said, proved fatal. And the names and logos reflect a fevered underground marketing effort in a city that is awash in cheap heroin.
    According to the Daily Mail, the Ace of Spades brand of heroin “is responsible for close to 100 deaths from New Hampshire to Washington State – including 37 in Maryland since September.”
    It is suspected that the heroin that killed Hoffman was laced with a deadly narcotic known as fentanyl. The following is an excerpt from a recent Raw Story article
    For the past three weeks, authorities have been trackingbatches of deadly fentanyl-laced heroin that has been moving east from Pittsburgh.
    Twenty-two people in western Pennsylvania died of overdoses in the past week. Authorities believe that most of the deaths were related to heroin laced with fentanyl, a powerful narcotic typically prescribed to terminal cancer patients as means of pain management.
    It is 100 times more powerful than morphine, and in combination with heroin can shut down the respiratory system of users.
    The laced heroin went by the street names “Theraflu” and “Bud Ice” in Pennsylvania, but as it made its way to Long Island it was re-branded as “24K.”
    The northeast quadrant of the country has been hit particularly hard by this heroin epidemic. According to the DEA, heroin seizures in the state of New York State have increased 67 percent over the last four years, and according to the Daily Beast, the number of heroin overdose deaths is rising “like wildfire”…
    In the last month alone, Maryland, Vermont, New York, and even Florida have each reported an unprecedented number of deaths. It’s spreading like wildfire. The National Institute on Drug Abuse is still crunching the numbers, but from what we’ve seen, this could be the worst year yet.
    Things have gotten so bad that the governor of Vermont recently used his entire State of the State address to discuss the heroin abuse epidemic…
    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin recently spent his entire 34-minute State of the State address talking about the state’s“full-blown heroin crisis,” and law enforcement officials in small cities across New England have noted an increase in heroin use.
    And as I mentioned above, the number of heroin addicts nationally has more than doubled since 2002
    “Heroin is pummeling the Northeast, leaving addiction, overdoses and fear in its wake,” said James Hunt of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Office.
    A 2012 survey by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (PDF) found that about 669,000 people over age 12 had used heroin at some point in the year. About 156,000 of those were first-time users, and roughly 467,000 were considered heroin-dependent — more than double the number in 2002.
    So don’t be stupid.
    Using heroin can kill you.
    In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, heroin is the number one killer of illegal drug users in the United States.
    We need our young people to understand this, because right now the use of heroin is exploding among the youth of America…
    “We can’t overshadow the fact that there is a public health crisis that is raging across this country. Scenarios like this are playing out in families and communities with alarming regularity and increased frequency,” Scott Hesseltine, operations director at Hazelden Treatment Center, said.
    Unfortunately, so far people don’t seem to be getting the message. Those buying and selling heroin just continue to become even more bold.
    In fact, as I have written about previously, heroin is being sold in broad daylight in front of public schools in the city of Detroit while kids wait to board their school buses.
    When you are addicted to heroin, you will do just about anything for another hit. Addicts will beg, borrow, steal and commit violence to get the money that they need.
    Heroin abuse doesn’t just destroy those that are addicted to it. It destroys entire communities.
    As the economy continues to decline, selling heroin will seem like an easy way to make some extra cash to many people.
    And many people will use the stuff in order to forget their problems.
    But in the end, thousands more will die and millions of lives will be deeply affected by this rising epidemic.
    America is dying, and this is just another symptom of our steady decline.

    February 4th, 2014 | Tags: Addiction, Addictions, Addicts, Drugs, Epidemic,Heroin Abuse, Heroin Addicts, Illegal Drugs, Legal Painkillers, Michael T. Snyder, Overdose, Overdose Deaths | Category: Crime, Moral Crisis
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  2. #2
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Obama will take a hit for pot talk

    By USA Today February 6, 2014 12:24 pm

    The apparent heroin overdose death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who first used drugs decades ago, is a reminder of just how difficult it is to get a handle on drug abuse and the youth culture that enables it. One reason for the surge in heroin use over the past five years is a crackdown on the abuse of prescription opiate painkillers. Addicts might simply be substituting one drug for a related one.
    That blowback is an important reason why we should be careful about drug policy and even what top officials say about it. Perhaps that can best be explained using another of the three traditional cornerstones of youth culture: sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
    On Jan. 26, 1998, President Clinton looked America in the eye and said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." That fib kick-started an odyssey in which our country debated things such as the meaning of the word "is" and whether oral sex is actually sex.

    'Clinton-Lewinsky effect'

    Sure, the tragicomic spectacle was entertaining. But the Lewinsky affair also had a pernicious, long-lasting effect: Young people started viewing oral sex as if it weren't a big deal. In 1991, 40% of college students viewed oral sex as a form of intercourse. By 2007, the number fell to 20%. Why? Researchers believe one possible explanation is the "Clinton-Lewinsky effect." If the president says oral sex isn't intercourse, then who are we to disagree?
    The changing view of oral sex led to real public health consequences. Today, evidence indicates that human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer and can be spread by oral sex, might be the leading cause of throat cancer.
    Fast-forward 16 years. In a New Yorkerinterview, President Obama followed in Clinton's footsteps by commenting on a very touchy social issue: smoking pot. Obama raised more than a few eyebrows when he remarked, "I don't think (marijuana) is more dangerous than alcohol."
    That wasn't smart. First, the science isn't settled on the issue. The long-term effects of marijuana use are largely unknown. His speculative statement, therefore, lacks scientific credibility.
    Second, and potentially far more destructively, by claiming that marijuana is no worse than alcohol, Obama has inadvertently sent a signal to America's youth: Smoking pot isn't a big deal.

    Big bong deal

    But it is a big deal, especially for kids. Smoking marijuana is thought to impact brain development and has been linked to a drop in IQ among teenagers.
    To be clear, I am not making a case that pot should remain illegal. I voted, along with 56% of my fellow Washingtonians, for the legalization of marijuana. The Pacific Northwest libertarian streak usually errs on the side of letting adults make their own personal choices, even poor ones.
    However, a state legalizing marijuana doesn't send anywhere as powerful a signal as the president of the United States offhandedly implying that marijuana isn't a big deal. Although it certainly wasn't his intention, Obama might have unwittingly endorsed pot in the minds of teenagers all across America. Can't you just hear our kids say, "Chill out. Obama said it's no worse than alcohol."
    What we don't want to see is the marijuana equivalent of the Clinton-Lewinsky effect -- call it the Obama effect. The public health implications of increased marijuana consumption among teens are unknown. And just like unprotected oral sex, in 20 years, will we find that smoking pot isn't as safe as we thought?
    Presidents simply need to be far more careful about what they say. Whether they like it or not, they serve as a role model for all Americans. On the rare occasion that a teen listens in on the national debate, we want to make sure he gets reliable information.
    Alex Berezow,Real Clear Scienceeditor and USA TODAY contributors board member, is co-author of Science Left Behind.
    A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

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