The March of Heroin
“The junk merchant doesn’t sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.” — William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch)
Heroin is the dark, dirty secret of America today. Few people recognize the devastation wrought by this drug across wide swathes of America and across the border in Mexico. Media coverage has been inexplicably muted and even more strange is the lack of opinion on the causes of this unprecedented epidemic.
Let’s start with some cold, hard numbers:
- 4.2 million people in the United States have used heroin at some point in their lives.
- 517,000 currently fulfill the criteria for heroin dependence.
- The CDC stated that 11,000 deaths from heroin overdose occurred in 2014 .
- Furthermore, between 2010 and 2014 deaths from heroin overdoses have quadrupled.
- New Hampshire has already set a record for heroin overdose related deaths in 2015 and even West Coast states that had been spared the heroin scourge are seeing record numbers of fatalities from heroin overdose.
- In 2010, the heroin market in America was estimated at27 billion. Since the number of estimated heroin dependent users has risen from approximately 335,000 to 517,000 it would not be speculation that this would be approaching40 billion, a number hitherto only associated with marijuana, a drug used by up to 20 million Americans.
- Heroin has become the most lucrative product of the Mexican cartels and Mexico has replaced Afghanistan as the main supplier of heroin to the United States. These cartels are estimated to be doing40 billion worth of business in marijuana, heroin and cocaine in the United States.
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