Sunday, October 20, 2013

Heroin information

Editor’s note: I feel this topic has become so important, I wanted to give you some information about Heroin in case you know someone who can use it to save their child.

“No mother should ever have to bury her child,” said Caroline Casina, bereaved mother from Illinois, whose son died of an overdose.

No parent wants to believe their child is hooked on any drug, particularly Heroin. Nor does any parent want to deal with the aftermath of a drug overdose, resulting in the death of their son or daughter.

Heroin addiction is back. It has hit the suburbs now, where as years ago it used to be only in the inner city. Some statistics: Heroin seizures in the past four years is up 50 percent. Users are up a staggering 75 percent from 2007-2011 to a total of 281,000 people. The fastest growing group of users are under 21-years-old. It has hit the suburbs and rural areas of middle class and affluent America.

Kathy Cane Lewis, researcher, says it starts by using pain pills and when those become difficult to get and too expensive, users switch to Heroin. A bag of heroin can cost as little as $10.

Twenty-four percent of high school kids abuse prescription meds. That’s over 5 million. Kids like Vicodin and Oxycodin, a 33 percent increase in five years. Why? One boy says it for most: because it felt so good, and we didn’t worry about the consequences.

Parents are getting involved, parents like Caroline Casina, who doesn’t want to see this happen to others. First, these parents want a nationwide good Samaritan law. This will allow anyone who is with someone overdosing to dial 911 without fear of getting charges put against them. Illinois is only one of 14 states with overdose good Samaritan laws on the books.

The parents also want people to know about a heroin antidote called Naloxone, which can neutralize the drugs’ effects and save the life of someone who is overdosing. It can cut these deaths in half says Lewis. She believes this antidote should be available over-the-counter. “I want to make sure no more people die. Our goal is to reduce overdose to zero in 10 years. It may not be achievable, but if we can reduce it by 50 percent, that would be a big deal.”

Others have learned hard lessons, lessons they hope others in their teens will listen to. Says one teen, “If you want to lose family, friends, break hearts, then use. If you want to keep friendships, make something of your life and make your family proud, don’t use heroin or any drug.”

“It is an unmanageable, untamable beast that’s a shape-shifter,” says Casina. “It hides in plain sight. It is insidious, clever, and conniving. I don’t think anybody, even a user, fully understands it.”

But she and others would like to defeat it. The question becomes: What can we do about this as a community, a society, a nation?