FOOTHILLS TIMES SEPTEMBER 2017 SEPTEMBER 2017 WHOLE MAG 2017 - Page 44

by Vickie Smitherman Wall The Heroin Epidemic Epidemic (definition): “extremely prevalent; widespread. The widespread reach of Heroin addiction in our nation (and world) is catching the long-needed attention of the media. Why? Why now? Why not back in the 60's when illegal drug use was a huge part of the anti-establishment movement? Because now it is killing your neighbor's child, or your sons and daughters, or your grandchild. That's why. It is at your front door, and it is real. Heroin addiction is no longer about “strung-out” hippie- types at Woodstock, or rock stars who overdosed at the height of popularity. It is not a distant monster that only attacks people who live on the streets or people who lead a lifestyle of excess. Heroin addiction does not discriminate. From upper middle class Americans to homeless persons – an all areas in between, Heroin is on the attack. 44 Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Contrary to what some believe, not all overdoses are the result of ingesting too much of a substance. Heroin overdoses are on the rise not only from high dosages, but from “contaminated' products. And the addict never, ever knows exactly what is in that small packet of product in his/her hand. I personally know of beautiful young ladies who have died from overdosing on their very first attempt to try this drug. I also know hundreds of stories of men and women who battled their addiction for years, surviving multiple overdoses, only to die from that one small, lethal injection. But there are success stories, and that is what we want, right? We want to know that this monster can be faced down and beaten. It can. The major question all across our country (and the world), is how?