Opiates like heroin are not to be taken lightly as they are highly addictive and hard to recover from this dreaded narcotic. For states like New York it’s important to address this epidemic especially with its dense population. Addiction to opiates like heroin continues to ruin lives, destroy families and prove fatal in many cases.
As the owner of both a teen drug rehab (Inspirations for Youth and Families) as well as an adult substance abuse treatment center (The Cove Center for Recovery), I have a rare opportunity to understand the vast scope of heroin epidemic on both an adolescent and adult perspective. Addiction is a disease that has paralyzed and endangered the lives of 21.5 million Americans. While heroin use pales in comparison to the overall addiction population, it is wreaking havoc on both small and large cities across America like we have never seen before.
Consider these alarming heroin statistics on heroin in New York:
- New York regularly accounts for about 20 percent of the heroin the federal Drug Enforcement Administration seizes every year.
- The New York City Department of Health said fatal heroin-related overdoses increased 71 percent between 2010 and 2012.
- Seizures have grown by 67 percent in the state over the last five years, a trend investigators attribute in part to high-volume heroin mills operating out of New York City apartments.
- In 2014, the council helped more than 850 families; 80 percent of that increase was due to opiate and heroin addiction.
- Opioid overdoses, including those from heroin, killed more than 2,000 New Yorkers in 2011.
It’s clear we cannot arrest our way out of the heroin crisis. I believe the following remedial actions will help reverse this dangerous and deathly trend.
- Providing all police officials with equipment and training to properly reverse the effects of an overdose.
- Allowing the state’s insurance to provide better coverage for drug and alcohol abuse treatment services.
There is no better feeling that I have than to effectively treat someone suffering from heroin abuse. Fortunately, both Inspirations and the Cove have been successful at saving many lives from heroin addiction.
One specific instance that sticks with me is when an eighteen year old teen named Julian came to our center after overdosing from heroin twice in 48 hours. He had been to over fifteen other drug rehabs and had been unsuccessful at recovery until we treated him at the Cove. Julian has been clean now for several years and is a proud member of the New York City workforce in the Department of Sanitation.
He is now contributing to society and helping others rather than adding to this epic problem. Watch his compelling testimonial on Youtube here:
While the state of New York is not where we reside we care about its recovery from heroin just as much as the residents of the state of Florida – home to both Inspirations and The Cove.