Yesterday I posted something I wrote a few years ago called, The Inconvenient Truth: The Devil At The Door... Heroin. I also wrote a post about WV and the Oxycontin Express.
Today is a good day to take a look back at the beginning of the heroin epidemic. A piece of often forgotten history, a piece when written didn't get a lot of response. I am reviving it this month. Grab a comfy seat, kick off your shoes and hop aboard... The OxyContin Express...
Have you ever heard that expression before? The entire State of West Virginia has been fighting
another kind of war for many years. The War on Prescription Drugs as well as The War on Heroin.
Who is winning?
With the number of people now affected here in the state and the number of those who have died from this disease, I am willing to bet there are no winners.
Have you ever wondered, just how did all of this start in the state? I know I have. The honest answer is that a lot of it started first with doctors over prescribing pain medication like Pez candies. It also started in homes with kids who were often finding and taking their parents or grandparents medications. Here is the documentary that won the 2009 Peabody Award,
This is still a real big problem here. Over the past decade, West Virginia has been part of The Oxycontin Express for many years with doctors who have been dealing drugs the legal way- over prescribing very addicting drugs.
In other instances kids who have found and taken their parents and grandparents medications. Whether some choose to believe it, these prescription opiates are the gateway to heroin. Many heroin users started as a result of addiction to prescription opiates. Prescription opiates are called
hillbilly heroin for a reason. We on this side know that prescription painkillers are the slippery slope to heroin. Heroin is cheaper to buy when the painkillers are no longer available.
Now we have physicians who now prescribe OxyContin to children as young as eleven years of age. Yep you may not know that but here is the data:
FDA Approves OxyContin For Kids As Young As Eleven
Aside from cocaine, crack and meth our biggest problem here in Berkeley County and Martinsburg right now is opiates- both heroin and prescriptions.
Our own express here is via our highways now called, the heroin highway. When the doctors stop prescribing opiates the addicted just go to other towns or states to find a doctor who will prescribe pain pills to them. Just like you shop for food, clothes, and shoes the addicted shop for doctors who will prescribe drugs. This is known as doctor shopping. Meanwhile, many others turn to heroin. The federal government and the DEA are starting to crack down on these types of operations.
Drugs are also coming in here via our highways. Interstate 81 which is now dubbed, the heroin highway as heroin just flows in here to the Eastern Panhandle from places like Baltimore, Philly, New Jersey, New York, D.C. (and other areas) To our west we have it flowing here from Chicago, Detroit, and Ohio. Most don't even try to hide it. That is the sad part.
In Frederick County, Virginia they held a summit on this issue in their county. Shouldn't the counties here in the panhandle as well as Washington County, Maryland have joined them as a joint effort?
West Virginia is now in the top five list as being the most addicted state and #1 in overdoses and death from overdose. Berkeley County has the highest numbers in all of West Virginia's 55 counties from our number of overdoses. Look at the overdoses in Berkeley County alone? The numbers are astounding. The problem here is far bigger than what we as citizens can even imagine.
At this rate, there will be no next generation.
To read more
Information on Oxycontin
So what do you think? Who is to blame for this mess? I hope you return tomorrow to read my post on Promoting Awareness. Awareness has been something that I hope my posts this month have brought so far.
If you are interested, a friend has a petition against the Sackler Foundation "Heroin in a Pill" OxyContin made Billions for one family. Can they give back to the victims?
To be continued....(I am sure)
DISCLAIMER: This post is my opinion. The intent of none of these posts is not meant to degrade, put down or bash our local police and law enforcement, our local governments or physicians. The intent is to discuss the problem. Not discussing it has been devastating to this community and certainly has not made it go away.
Credits for this post:
Letter pic Blogging A-Z
Video Youtube video Oxycontin Express
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