Heroin And Its Effects On The United States

1758 Words Mar 26th, 2016 8 Pages
Heroin is one of many street drugs notorious for addiction, death from overdose, and ruining not only the lives of users but also the lives of the people around them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the national number in the United States of heroin overdose deaths in 2014 alone was around eleven thousand, a number that is six times higher than it was only fifteen years ago in 2001, and it continues to rise. The issue of heroin is growing not only nationally but even locally in central Illinois, and is an undesirable epidemic that should not only be recognized as a pressing local issue, but also a dangerous street narcotic that has negative life-changing consequences that affect an individual personally and affect others indirectly.
Heroin, derived from morphine, is classified in the opioid family of painkilling drugs, made from the opium poppy plant, specifically the opium from the sap of the plant which is harvested from the seed pods after the flower falls off. The opium poppy is generally grown in Southeast Asia, Mexico, the Middle East and parts of Central and South America (Weintraub 16). Opium was used in the past in countries such as Egypt as a “cure-all” drug and a poison; It was then sold to parts of China and used as a recreational drug that had many users addicted and ruined their lives (Weintraub 16-17). A majority of the heroin in the United States today is smuggled in from South America and Mexico, and is coming over in record amounts…
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