The needle and the damage done

The heroin epidemic hitting the tri-state where it hurts.

Picture taken from WLWTs heroin page.

Picture taken from WLWT’s heroin page.

Cincinnati is getting national attention for the heroin epidemic which is sweeping its way across our streets. From outside the gates of Elder High School to the main library downtown, there are dozens of overdoses daily.

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants.

Religion teacher and social activist, Mr. Roger Auer explains that individuals are injecting heroin because of an already existing dependence on pain pills. Add addiction to a “cheap fix” and problems are sure to arise. Auer states, “These are full-blown addicts that are no longer in pain and are now searching for what they think is a normal feeling.”

Brian Otten, a Cincinnati Fire Fighter, describes his previous night of work when asked about the epidemic flying through the tri-state. Otten states that during his previous shift he went on 24 heroin overdose runs.

Recently, in a two-night time period, Price Hill was hit with over 60 heroin overdoses. Mr. Auer comments that he has heard of an individual who overdosed three times in one single day.

Experts are saying this is due to the area being used as a “test tube” for dealers, in which they are using a powerful animal tranquilizer in their product.

Testing on the bodies of dead victims confirmed that the unknown substance was Carfentanil, a powerful elephant tranquilizer. This drug is said to be thousands of times stronger than morphine.

Cincinnati, more specifically, our own Westside, is already spiraling downward and now is in fear of being used as a guinea pig or test dummy.

Nearly 300 overdoes have been reported in Cincinnati since August 19. One hundred and seventy-four of those overdoses were reported in a six-day period.

Parents OD with kid in backseat taken from WCPO's twitter account
Parents OD with kid in backseat taken from WCPO’s twitter account

Police and officials are asking for Ohio to issue a state of emergency and to free up more resources to fight this cancer that is spreading rapidly throughout the state.

Heroin overdoses have skyrocketed by 670% between 2004 and 2010 in the emergency departments of Cincinnati and Hamilton County hospitals.

All of this madness is result of police and pharmacists cracking down on addicts trying to find OxyContin. As a result of this crackdown, addicts are going to heroin due to its accessibility and price. A price difference of a $20 heroin high as opposed to a $80 OxyContin high.

These addicts are using to function at this point, not even for the high. The calming effect is enslaving to these individuals. Thus the term addiction.

The routes that this drug takes are a little odd. The cartels from Mexico are pushing it across the border through California, then through Chicago, and finally making its way down to Cincinnati. Some of it is also coming up directly from Atlanta.