When Heroin Hit the Suburbs

Heroin is an illegal opioid drug with a long history of abuse and addiction. In the 1960s heroin came to the nation’s attention in a big way, as it was being used heavily in inner cities, but also by many celebrities of the era. Ultimately there were legendary actors and musicians that died as the result of heroin overdoses. Despite the fact that heroin became part of the national consciousness, it wasn’t really thought of as a drug that impacted people in suburbia or even mainstream society.

The concept of a “junkie” was associated with people in big cities, and while there was drug use in the suburbs, heroin just wasn’t a big issue in these areas.

Now, however, that’s changed. Heroin has led to a drug epidemic in every area, including not just inner cities, but rural areas and middle-class suburbs. The face of heroin has changed, and it’s led people to fear the impact of this crisis. When heroin hit the suburbs, people started realizing the effect it could have on anyone.

When Heroin Hit the Suburbs
So when did heroin hit the suburbs, and how?

Many people believe when heroin hit the suburbs happened when prescription drug use became problematic. Prescription opioids like oxycodone became more prevalently prescribed and ultimately abused in the 1990s. These drugs were all too commonly given by doctors for everything from dental pain to injuries from accidents.

Prescription opioids, much like heroin, are incredibly addictive and people who use them, even as prescribed are at a high risk of developing a physical dependence on them.

As the available prescription opioids increased even in the suburbs, people did start abusing them, both with and without a prescription. In response to the rising levels of prescription opioid abuse, there have been more steps toward making these drugs harder to get, and also harder to abuse.

The feeling of being high on heroin is similar to being high on prescription opioids.

Then, when people have developed a pill addiction they often move on to heroin because it’s cheaper and easier to get. For example, you can get heroin for around $5 a bag in most places in the country, whereas pills can be as much as $100 each, depending on the local supply and what it is.

It’s also easier to use heroin in many ways. Manufacturers of prescription opioids have been making steps in recent years to make it harder to crush up pills for snorting or injecting, whereas heroin comes as a fine powder that’s ready to snort or turn into a solution.

News headlines started focusing on when heroin hit the suburbs and how that changed the concept of heroin addiction and the drug epidemic in general.

Up until the time when heroin hit the suburbs, it was seen as somewhat of a low-class drug, and it was often associated with low-income minorities. It was also something that was seen as being preferred by the fringe elements of society, including people in the art and music scene.

By the 2010s, however when heroin hit the suburbs in a big way that all changed and now as much as 90 percent of new heroin users are white.

There are constant barrages of images of people using heroin and overdosing in public, in cars and seemingly everywhere and more often than not these images include people who are in their 20s and are white. They’re also often located in unsuspecting areas of the country, such as the suburban communities of the Midwest. For example, communities throughout Ohio have been especially hard hit by the opioid epidemic.

As a result of heroin coming to the suburbs, more people are pushing for it to be viewed as a public health crisis, rather than a crisis of the criminal justice system. That, however, brings the question of whether there is more leniency for today’s heroin users because they’re white, and there are racial issues at play.

While heroin use among white people, often middle class and in the suburbs, has gone up tremendously in recent years, it’s actually gone down among minorities.

It may seem unfair that it didn’t become a public health crisis until heroin hit the suburbs, but that’s what’s happened. Local, state and federal government officials are trying to find ways to curb the use of heroin and other opioids and also stop the spikes in overdoses and deaths, although right now the impacts of drug use are still being felt across the country.

For the most part, when heroin hit the suburbs it’s safe to say it changed the way the country viewed drug addiction.

When Heroin Hit the Suburbs
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