Baltimore-a Community in Crisis

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Baltimore: A Community in Crisis Since the 19th century, the illicit drug, heroin, has been a part of American society. When heroin was first discovered it was thought to be a wonder drug because of the euphoric feeling a person is said to feel after using it. However, once the debilitating effects of this highly addictive drug was realized the anti-drug law, the Harrison Narcotics Act, was enacted that restricted its use to medicinal purposes only. In 1920, heroin was banned altogether through the Dangerous Drug Act (Habal, 2011). Heroin for the most part was thought to have gone underground until the Vietnam War. In 1971, two congressmen returned from visiting U. S. servicemen serving in Vietnam with an alarming revelation that…show more content…
S203). In addition to the severe consequences drug abuse has on health, the social consequences are just as severe and includes increased crime and imprisonment, physical and mental disabilities, and loss of productivity. “Declared “the most heroin-plagued city in the U.S.” by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in 2000, Baltimore has grappled with how to effectively address the problem of [heroin] drug addiction in the city for decades” (Tsui & Rukow, 2007, p. i). Baltimore has more people addicted to heroin, per captia, than any other U.S. city. It is estimated the heroin that is bought and sold in Baltimore on an annual basis yields as much as $1 billion in the underground drug market. Heroin addiction is an epidemic in Baltimore that dates back to the 1950s and is now a deep-rooted part of the city’s culture (Yang, 2000). Tom Carr, director of the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA program explained in an interview with ABC News in 2000 just how deep-rooted this issue is: It’s an old ‘heroin’, says Carr. There is an appetite for heroin in Baltimore. …It’s accepted by all too many people down there as something that’s normal behavior. It’s almost a rite of passage for some, he adds, noting that heroin habits are often passed down from generation to generation. (Yang, 2000, para. 17). Can it Really Be That Bad? The Destruction Heroin Has Caused in Baltimore. Although estimates vary, U.S. officials estimate that as
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