Here is the face of Heroin abuse. There are countless other faces but they don’t get the attention that this celebrity brings. Who would have ever thought that actions in Florida could affect New York. So what happened in Florida? Local and federal authorities shut down pill mills which are storefront pain clinics that sold large numbers of prescription painkillers to just about anyone. This was part of an effort to stamp out the illegal flow of prescription opioids (ie. oxycodone) around Florida. In the underground black market, these pill mills supplied most of the country with their addiction. So the supply dried up but the demand was still there.
Prescription Painkiller Side Effects
In the aftermath of the crackdown, sales of prescription painkillers plummeted but the addicts still needed their fix. So the obvious choice was Heroin which is a cheaper and more pure opioid. So stopping the illegal sale of prescription painkillers has a side effect. That side effect being an increase in Heroin sales.
The death of Philip Seymour Hoffman from a heroin overdose has promoted one theory that the crackdown against the illegal sale of prescription painkillers has created a black-market shortage. This crackdown is driving up the street price of opioid pills and inadvertently boosting demand for heroin as a cheap and available alternative. It goes to show you how a black market in Florida can create an epidemic in the New York tri-state area.
The state’s war on pill mills is making an impact, but there’s a troubling byproduct: a surge in the number of people now hooked on heroin. Heroin is inching back in Florida and the rest of the country as an unintended consequence of the state’s epic war on prescription pills from pill mills. Prescriptions were filled with little regard to the end-user. Sales and profits seemed to have trumped common sense.
Access to Vicodin and Oxycodone was vital to the addicts. The high was there although it was abuse of prescription painkillers. It doesn’t matter if it was heavily regulated. Someone always finds a way around the system to profit from it. It is the essence of human nature. Find an edge that can differentiate you from those among you (classic Darwinism). So the prescription pill supply dried up but the demand was still there. Where do you go to get the high? The next best option, Heroin. It is cheap, super pure, highly addictive and an opioid.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
It takes a celebrity death like Hoffman for the problem to receive much broader, national attention, including a front-page article in the New York Times. The shift has come as pills become more difficult to access, the black market and heroin become more prevalent. Keep in mind, this affects all of us. Not poor or minority neighborhoods. All of us.
Do you have a loved one struggling with addiction?