Current Drug Problems Need New York Drug Rehab
Home of the Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, Time Square and of course the World Trade Centers. New York is known all around the country for it’s most famous buildings, museums, theaters, and many other landmarks. With the population being over 19 million, this state has many drug related issues. Mainly the distribution and trafficking of illegal drugs is a big concern. Drugs are smuggled in and out of New York every day. Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana and Club Drugs are all readily available throughout the state and New York drug rehab is stepping up to beat addiction problems.
Marijuana is smuggled into New York from all different area’s such as Mexico, Southwestern parts of the United States and even Jamaica. Also more and more indoor growing of marijuana is being found and becoming popular and high-tech. Heroin is available all around the metropolitan area in New York and has been considered the purest heroin that you can find on the streets in New York. This is because most of all the heroin is Colombian or South American based. Heroin is brought into the “Big Apple” by vehicles, cargo, airlines, trains and people concealing it on their person.
New York has seen a limit and fluctuation on cocaine in the past few years. Most of the cocaine that is brought into the state is transported in by vehicle, cargo and by the mail service. All though the drug Methamphetamine, abuse is a lesser problem in the state of New York than Cocaine, Heroin, and Marijuana, it is still a concern in the state. MDMA “Club Drugs” is a main problem around the New York City nightclubs and school areas. Groups that bring this drug in uses the mail service and cargo to supply the distributors.
The state of New York has made the top ten list in recent years in several areas relating to drug use. According to the New York Drug Control Update, it made the top ten list in cocaine use among those 12 years of age and older. It’s also one of the states with the most adults in the 18 to 25 age group suffering from illicit drug dependence. Perhaps one of the most devastating drug problems New York is facing right now is the influx of heroin and the increasing number of addicts. Heroin in New York is cheap and easily accessible. The seizure of heroin by drug authorities has risen nearly 67 percent during the last four years. The death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman has highlighted a problem that has become almost epidemic in New York. What makes heroin potentially more dangerous than many other drugs is how easy it is to become addicted. It’s nearly impossible to be a casual heroin user. Many people will get hooked after just one round with the drug.
As much of a problem as heroin is for New York, it isn’t the only drug that is wreaking havoc in people’s lives. Everything from cocaine and marijuana to prescription painkillers are being abused. According to the New York State Department of Health, nearly 2 million New Yorkers have a substance abuse problem. About 160,000 of these individuals are between 12 and 17. New York is one of only a handful of states where drug induced deaths have been higher in recent years than those from motor vehicle accidents. Except for Marijuana, those who live in New York are more likely to use illegal drugs than Americans in most other states. The following information highlights some of the different areas regarding drug problems in New York.
Drug Trends In New York
While Methamphetamine use is soaring in other states throughout the country, problems with this drug are relatively low in New York. Even though Marijuana use is still high overall, it has stabilized in recent years. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine and heroin are two of the most abused drugs in New York. Cocaine use is still the drug of choice for many New Yorkers. Although there isn’t as much coverage in the media regarding crack cocaine, it’s still a problem in many low income areas. But one of the most disturbing trends and biggest problems in New York is what may be called the reemergence and glamorization of heroin.
Heroin use in New York has doubled in recent years. And it’s not just the drug of choice for those in poverty or for individuals living in urban areas. Heroin has spread into the suburbs. Affluent teens and twenty-somethings are becoming addicted and even dying in the latest heroin epidemic. The purity level of South American heroin has increased in recent years. This is just one aspect of the drug that makes it so dangerous. Unless users know for certain how strong the heroin they’re getting is, they could be caught off guard with an intense batch that they instantly overdose on. Some users have died before they’ve even had a chance to take the needle out of their arm.
Many experts blame the rise in heroin use in recent years to the prescription drug epidemic. Many people, including teens who take medicine from their parent’s cabinet, start out abusing prescription pain pills such as oxycodone. But when an addiction escalates, buying those pills on the street can be expensive. Addicts then turn to heroin because the effects are similar and it’s usually a lot cheaper. OxyContin can sell for up to $80 for an individual pill while a bag of heroin can be bought for around $10.
During the last year, Modafinil, which is known among professionals as “a smart drug”, has gained popularity among New York’s techies and traders. Modafinil gives users what has been described as a pleasant fuzziness as well as an initial head rush. One user even described most of his energy concentrating around the front of his face, and in particular, his eyes. In general, the level of concentration goes up and the user feels that he or she can complete a lot of work while still thinking clearly and crisply. There hasn’t been much research conducted on this drug. Some scientists say it can bring about withdrawal symptoms like any other drug, including sleep deprivation.
Some of the trends, especially among younger people, involve using substances many people would never think of to get high. While most people are aware of prescription drug abuse and the increase in heroine, some would be shocked to discover that teenagers are now huffing freon gasses from air conditioners while attempting to get a buzz. Some teens are even smoking nutmeg. Nutmeg can bring on hallucinations if taken in large quantities.
Increasing Health Problems Due to Drug Use
In New York City in 2009, over 48,000 men came to emergency rooms for treatment for drug related problems. The number for females was just under 21,000. Surprisingly, the highest percentage of those visits to the ER were from the 35 to 54 age group. There was a lower rate of emergency room visits for pharmaceuticals than the national average. For illicit drugs, however, the rate was much higher than the national average. While men seem to outpace women when it comes to drug abuse, the exception is when it comes to suicide by drug overdose. Emergency room visits that involved a drug related suicide showed females coming in at approximately 57 percent and males at just under 43 percent.
In New York, approximately half of all emergency room visits related to drug use involve cocaine. This holds true no matter what the age group. Cocaine is a stimulant that constricts blood vessels and increases the heart rate. Long term use can result in heart attack, stroke, seizures, and respiratory failure. While Heroin provides an initial rush, even short term use can bring on devastating health problems. Many times while a user is experiencing a pleasant effect from heroin, nausea and vomiting can occur at the same time. Long term effects of heroin can be frightening and debilitating. Users often suffer from sexual impotence, pustules on the face, insomnia, and breathing problems.
The health problems from drug abuse are not always immediate or even directly related to the drug itself. Risky behaviors, such as engaging in unprotected sex or using dirty needles, can lead to the spread of diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis. While more men become addicts, women appear to become addicted faster. Since a woman’s body contains less water and more fatty tissue, the effects from drugs and alcohol are more intense.
The Connection Between Night Clubs and Drugs
The club scene in New York is at the cutting edge of music, fashion, and the most popular drugs. Among the relatively young and affluent, Molly is one of the most sought after drugs. Molly is said to bring on a sense of euphoria by releasing serotonin in the brain. Molly, or various forms of it, has been around since Merck patented it in 1914. The drug was also popular in the 1980s when raves were in fashion. But as it became more in demand so did the additives that were put in the drug. With things like speed, LSD, and talcum powder put into the drug, Molly gained a bad reputation and fell out of favor. It’s made a comeback in recent years. Because Molly is touted as pure, even natural, many people who aren’t your typical drug users have tried Molly. But like any other drug, it’s not without its dangers. Emergency room doctors have reported that users come in experiencing fever, dehydration, anxiety, and insomnia. More serious side-effects have included hypothermia, seizures, and even coma.
Another drug that may be gaining popularity among clubbers is Krokodil. Krokodil is a Russian form of Heroin with terrifying side-effects. It can turn skin scaly and then cause it to harden and fall off in chunks and pieces. In spite of these horrifying after-effects, some young people may be tempted to try this drug at least once for its novelty. The problem with this is that the drug is highly addictive. The drug is made by cooking codeine with lighter fluid or gasoline, with the active ingredient being desomorphine. This flesh rotting drug has already resulted in several deaths.
Children and Drugs in New York
According to at-risk.org, over 60 percent of teenagers in New York reported that drugs were sold or used at their school. It seems the heroin epidemic is such a problem that the teachers are using as well. Since December 2013 heroin and drug paraphernalia have been found on more than one occasion in an elementary school restroom. What may be even more disturbing is that the heroin found at Benjamin Cosor Elementary School in Fallsburg, New York was found in the teachers’ restroom. Heroin has lost much of its stigma among both professionals and suburbanites. Especially when it’s used without a needle it’s not always viewed as negatively as in the past.
While at least half of illicit drug use among teens in New York involves marijuana, drugs that are considered stronger are taking a devastating toll on children and young adults. While the stigma is lessening in some demographics, many parents still see heroin as a hardcore street drug and easily fall into denial about their kids being users. People who would intervene if the drug was alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine are ashamed to admit that their child uses heroin. For them it’s still thought of as a drug that junkies living in the street use. But stopping drug abuse among children and teens before it even starts is paramount in reducing drug addiction in the future. studies have shown that an overwhelming majority of those suffering from addiction started using before reaching the age of 18. Along with the epidemic of heroin and opiate use among young people is coming a sharp rise in deaths. Some agencies are trying to combat this problem.
ARC Health, an agency in Syracuse, New York, has recently received approval from the health department to start a program to help stop overdoses. The drug, Narcan, which is already used by emergency room technicians, can block the effects of heroin and certain prescription drugs. The state of New York passed a law in 2006 allowing non-medical individuals to administer Narcan to prevent overdose deaths. Even with efforts such as these, the problem must still be addressed at different levels. Kids are getting more ideas about different drugs and ways to use them from social media. Unfortunately, certain segments of the fashion industry have popularized what is referred to as “heroin chic.” The gaunt look featuring sunken cheeks and a blank expression is sometimes exhibited in fashion magazines. This sort of advertising has an irresistible pull on teenagers. It’s something parents have to make an enormous effort to stay on top of. Feeling awkward or being embarrassed to ask a kid about possible drug use is no longer an option.
Pregnant Women and Drug Addiction
Women taking drugs during pregnancy is not a new problem. The types of drugs that seem to be taking the biggest toll on mothers and their unborn babies are changing, however. In the 90s it was the crack babies that dominated the headlines, now it’s babies addicted to prescription drugs. At Staten Island University Hospital the number of babies born that experience some sort of withdrawal from narcotics has increased 500 percent over the last few years. Drug use by the mother has been shown to reduce birth weight and even the circumference of the baby’s head. It’s also associated with long term behavior problems.
No longer restricted to large urban areas, babies being born addicted to narcotics has increased in recent years in areas such as Syracuse, New York. Onondaga County reported the highest rate of hospitals discharging newborn babies with drug related problems. How difficult the withdrawal is for the baby depends upon what kind of drugs the mother was taking. At least half of all babies born to mothers who abused prescription painkillers will experience some sort of withdrawal. In rural areas and small towns the problem is often more difficult to deal with. Smaller hospitals often aren’t equipped or have the experience to adequately care for drug addicted babies.
A Strong Gang Influence
While drug use, especially prescription drug abuse, has caused criminal activity to rise in New York, it isn’t just the average citizen that’s involved in drugs. Mafia kingpins all the way down to gangs on the streets are involved in distributing and selling drugs.
In early 2013 a gang dubbed the Fetti Boys was busted for selling pot in child-like candy wrappers called sour power. Based in East Harlem, the gang sold up to one thousand dollars worth of these marijuana packages a day and sometimes put the packets inside cereal boxes like a prize. The Fetti Boys are just one of several gangs operating in the same general area.
But the gangs aren’t just confined to the big city. Many of them are branching out into the suburbs and even into upstate New York. This is likely at least one reason why drug use among those living in suburban and rural areas is skyrocketing. And the gangs don’t always do all the work themselves. Once they get a teenager hooked on drugs in the suburbs they use the teen to get others in their neighborhood or school to start using. A lot of kids who wouldn’t take drugs from a stranger on the street are more likely to start using if their best friend is the one pushing it.
How Drug Use is Affecting Crime in New York
New York is ranked 11th in the United States in violent crime. Prescription drug addiction is also causing a spike in a crime that was virtually unheard of even 10 years ago. Robberies at pharmacies are increasing across the country and New York is no exception. In 2011, a robber in a pharmacy on New York’s Long Island shot a pharmacist, a teenage clerk, and two customers. Thieves are also breaking into private homes simply to take prescription medications. This makes the elderly more susceptible to crime since they are known to often take several types of prescription drugs.
Most of the heroin brought into New York comes from South America and is delivered via commercial aircraft. This heroin is then distributed throughout upstate New York, often being transported by car, bus, or train from New York City. Columbia continues to provide most of the cocaine that finds its way to New York. Due to the influx of drugs, heroin arrests just on Long Island are up by 163 percent. In January of 2014, Senator Charles Schumer called on the federal government to help with the rise of heroin related crimes in New York. The rise in use is most dramatic among young adults age 18 to 24.
A Lasting Recovery
Drug addiction is not something that has to be suffered for a lifetime. There is effective treatment programs that can provide the individual with the tools needed to enjoy a lasting recovery.