There is a rise in the number of heroin overdoses and deaths of young white men in suburbia not seen since the end of the AIDS epidemic.
The number of those deaths related to heroin overdoses has risen so far and so steadily, that it has offset much of the advances made in medical breakthroughs over the last several years. This unheard of growing pandemic, unless brought to light, is unlikely to slow down or much less stop.
The largest of those cases reported are coming more from the smaller towns and suburbs surrounding most larger cities.
As of yet, there is no direct and solid information as to the reason this is happening, but there are theories as to why it’s happening.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) they claim that this surge in heroin overdoses in the young white male community if left untreated, might be the next epidemic of our time.
Many officials at the center said that they believe the fact that the people being killed are younger white men, is being massively under-reported. A drug abuse expert writing for the Institute for Drug Studies said on a recent blog “if not for the race issue, this would be seen as a nationwide problem to be dealt with.”
This rise of young white men’s death in relation to heroin overdosing has been going on since at least 2000. It seems that any time this trend was reported in any news outlet, they failed to mention the specifics of it. It led to an unintended campaign of misinformation.
Over the last few years, it was assumed that this rise in heroin overdoses was because of a spike in sales. It was rarely if ever, reported the specific demographic targeted in that spike.
Where is This Happening?
A problem arising in much of the United States over the last 10 years is an influx of heroin flooding much of the suburban streets. It now leads to more drug overdoses in suburbia than any American inner cities. Heroin at one point in our recent history was even known as “The king of the streets”.
Heroin has largely dropped in price. In certain areas, heroin is cheaper than marijuana, the cheapest of all illicit substances.
This price drop in heroin has been difficult to understand for many economists studying the issue. For example, the demand for heroin has gone up. Currently, heroin demand and usage has been steadily rising over the last several years. This rise in most economic circles means that a demand for the drug will inevitably raise the price paid for it.
However, the opposite has happened.
This price drop and demand raise have rarely ever witnessed in many economic groups.
To relate, many people don’t seem to realize that drug dealings around the world follow exactly the same laws that the legal economy follows. When the demand for a certain supply goes up, the price also rises. This happens with everything in the economic world.
Another way this strange economic phenomenon might be possible is if a newer technology exists that makes the production of heroin so massively cheap. If that technology exists, the holder of it would have a grip on the heroin market worldwide.
This theory has been the one pushed forward the most and makes the most sense. While this is completely theoretical, evidence confirming it holds the most value.
Still, the question of why heroin is killing so many young white men specifically is only being skirted. It hasn’t truly been answered.
Another probable theory pushed forward about this curious case is the effects of living in suburbia. Suburbia simply means those which live in the suburbs. To make sense of this, one has to understand the statistics regarding the suburbs in America.
With economic opportunity comes mass exodus.
Who’s Suffering the Most?
Whenever a population grows tied to the growth of economies of a certain city, large amounts of people move from a crowded area (inner cities) to a less crowded area (suburbs). The majority of those who move, for the most part, are best off economically.
As of now, the largest racial population of those best off are mostly white. This is not to say that white people, in general, are the most successful in the country. This is only to say that those moving mostly into suburbia tend to be more of white race than any other. It must also be remembered that America is comprised of mostly white people, so the statistics will always skew in their way.
The “suburban” theory proposes that if one looks into the source of the numbers (victims of heroin overdoses), that the vast majority of them will come, not only from younger white men but those white men living in the suburbs of America specifically. Proponents of this theory say that a reason this heroin overdosing is affecting mainly young white men is the culture created within it.
The culture that many believe is the issue, is said to be propagated more for those living in suburbia. They believe the culture mainly inscribes a lifestyle of over-consumption of antidepressant prescription drugs, along with other drugs. An example some proponents bring up is the lighthearted barbs made in many television shows based in the suburbs, showing the overuse of prescription drugs. Shows such as Two and a Half Men, Modern Family, or Cougar Town have countless scenes about the mixing of prescription drugs like Xanax along with alcohol and other things.
Some believe that this is not purposefully pushed through the show. Many believe it more as being leaked into the culture of suburbia. They also believe that heroin is simply just a logical progression from most antidepressants.
While this theory sounds probable, it fails to account for the same culture in different races not having the same effects.
Another important fact to add to the mentioned and any upcoming theories is that they will have to adjust to the rising numbers of minorities in the suburbs. While their numbers don’t yet match those of the white population, on a per capita basis, the minority is outgrowing the local white population.
Understanding the Seriousness of the Problem
There certainly is something to be said about the way many Americans view nationwide pandemics or what should be of worry. For example, let’s go back to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s.
Once the now famous case of patient zero to the AIDS pandemic caught national headlines, the reported cases of AIDS began to steadily rise. With that initial rise, much of the population remained certain that it was simply a gay problem. Many believed that worrying about the issue was simply unimportant.
Then famous celebrities fell into the unfortunate spotlight of the AIDS casualties and people seem to have had more of a response then. From famous basketball player Magic Johnson to famous singer and songwriter Freddie Mercury, the American people became more aware of the rising crises.
AIDS and HIV testing centers began having a massive a spike in requested tests around the country. By the time most of the country had gotten caught up in the seriousness of what they were dealing with, the situation got dramatically worse.
Infection rates began climbing through the roof as media and educational campaigns were run nationwide in an attempt at damage control.
Years after that, looking back at many different media outlets and newspaper editorials, they began referring to the rise of AIDS outbreaks as an epidemic.
It took a wake-up call of thousands of reported deaths and even more infections before any credible action was taken. Actions that should have been taken by both people and their government.
When it comes to epidemics or serious outbreaks, many Americans suffer through a figurative amnesia phase. Seemingly forgetting how fragile and easily broken we can become.
The projected rates for heroin overdoses are believed to go up over the next several years, but until the reason is better, it’s unknown whether a solution can be developed. Unless this growing problem of heroin overdoses is seen and set into the national spotlight, it will remain an ever growing problem. A problem that might require another wake-up call.
Heroin Overdoses Aren’t the End, Get Treatment Now
Although it might not need to be said or expressed, whenever there is a rise in heroin overdoses or usage, a strong correlation is the rise in HIV cases reported. Heroin is most popularly ingested using needles, which are then shared and raises the risk for HIV infection tenfold. Heroin is by far one of the most addictive drugs ever created. It’s such an addictive drugs, that in most treatment centers around the country, heroin addicts are their second most admitted clients.
If you or a loved one are suffering from heroin addiction, don’t wait until someone overdoses to get treatment. The earlier you treat heroin addiction, the better chance you have of saving a life. Call our 24-hour helpline at (855) 619-8070 and one of our call agents will help you with any questions you may have. Start your recovery today.