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My cousin’s husband is a fireman-medic in Central Florida. He tells me that he spends most of his working hours administering Narcan to overdosed kids in their 20s.

Narcan is the brand name for naloxone, an opiate antidote, which rapidly blocks the effects of opiates. When taken in massive doses, opiates (including painkillers) can cause the user to stop breathing and die. If a person who’s overdosed is injected with Narcan, the opiates are immediately knocked out of their brains’ opiate receptors and the user quickly begins breathing again.

The most common route to the virtually inescapable trap of opiate addiction is via prescription painkillers, such as Percocet and oxycodone. Everyday people, recovering from routine surgeries or sports injuries can easily become addicted to the painkillers that they’ve been medically prescribed. These are expensive and difficult to obtain both legally and illegally. Meanwhile, heroin is available everywhere and is very cheap in its purest and most powerfully-addictive form. In 2012, an estimated 2.1 million people in the US suffered from substance use disorders related to opiate painkillers and an additional 467,000 had become full-blown heroin addicts. In 2014, the latter number had grown to 587,000 – and it’s on the rise.

The numbers are especially frightening when one considers that only 1 in 10 heroin addicts actively seeking treatment will succeed in beating their addictions.

Heroin addiction has little to do with the stereotypes of the 1960s and ’70s. It is not an “Inner City” problem associated with “ethnic minorities”. The crisis today is most often seen among middle class whites in suburban and rural America.

Opioid addiction is a chronic brain disease precipitated by fundamental, long-term changes to the structure and functioning of the brain. While the initial choice to use opioids may be voluntary, once opioid addiction develops, use is compulsive, not voluntary.

The neurological changes that produce opioid tolerance and physical addiction are well understood. Tolerance corrects itself within a period of weeks following cessation of use. By contrast, the neurological changes that cause addiction are wider ranging and much more complex and do not reverse themselves shortly after opioid use has ceased. These neurological changes often persist for extended lengths of time.

The uncontrollable drug consumption seen with opioid addiction is primarily driven by opioid cravings, which are typically the most persistent symptoms of opioid addiction. This persistence is attributable to the comparatively prolonged time required for the opioid-dependent brain to restore some degree of pre-disease normalcy. Patients may be vulnerable to drug cravings and relapse for months and even years after their last opioid use.

I watched several documentaries on this very pressing subject and I chose this one to show, although it doesn’t emphasize how criminalization is clearly impeding many from any hope of recovery from addiction and it is definitely causing more unnecessary deaths. Heroin is so ubiquitous, that addicts can usually maintain their addictions while in prison, without any interruption.

The overdose death rate in 2008 was nearly four times the 1999 rate. Although this program claims that most of the heroin that enters the US comes through Mexico, it fails to mention that 90% of the world’s heroin supply comes from Afghanistan. 15 years after the US invasion undid the work of the Taliban, who’d nearly obliterated heroin production prior to 2001, today 35% of Afghanistan’s legal GDP is derived from raw opium.

Opiates have been used as a weapon between nations for hundreds of years. If the situation in America seems epidemic, Russia has less than half the population of the United States and more than four times the number of heroin addicts.

Alexandra Bruce

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Alexandra Bruce

Alexandra Bruce

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26 comments

  • Why do you think Obama REALLY sent our troops to Afghanistan? TRUTH: Soldiers I’ve spoken to admitted to me their job was to guard and protect Opium fields there. And why do you think Obama went to Cambodia the day after Benghazi? Yep, that is likely the number 2 biggest producer of Heroin after Afghanistan.
    so many Russian citizens became addicted from Afghan heroin Russia fell to pieces. I strongly suspect Obama intends to do the same to America since it made Russia fall so well. Ever since he was ten years old in Indonesia he has gotten a thrill from toppling governments, when his mother and step father toppled Sukarno. Toppling governments may be Obama’s favorite high.

  • Pretty soon W-18 will be the drug of choice as it is man made and cheap to make. and is 10,000 times STRONGER than heroin. Only downside is that it will instantly kill the consumer and no amount of narcan will save them. Say goodbye to your addicted love ones who are hooked on heroin. To rid the US of opium we need to totally destroy all the poppy fields in Afganistan and Mexico….but we are too busy guarding them with our troops for that to happen.

    Say goodbye to all the upscale people in say Maine or NH that are addicted to heroin as well if they venture to try the stuff laced with W-18. Instant death. There is going to be a lot of dead people in the coming years. And the horrible part of all this is that heroin is illegal…and the W-18 is NOT illegal.

    Now the cops and EMT’s and firefighters won’t be able to save anybody with narcan anymore…….

    Bottom line……tell your addicted friends that now is a good time to quit doing street drugs or they won’t be around to talk to you anymore soon.

  • Very upsetting. Don’t understand why people do those things to themselves. Not judging any in this clip, but I’ve lived with pain much of my adult life even though my doctor has at times pressured me to accept prescription pain killers. I don’t want the risk. Living includes pain, suffering and learning how to overcome it. That adversity helps make a person strong. Running for some kind of relief every time you feel physical or emotional pain makes one weak. One can live with pain if they are strong. What’s wrong is poor education and artificial religion. It’s basically a spiritual and ignorance problem. Americans used to be strong and above this kind of thing. Now it seems there are so many who run to the government, the bar or the drug dealer instead of facing up to life and dealing with it. I feel terrible for everyone here, but what got them into it in the first place? The education institutions do not toughen up people any more and prepare them to face life which isn’t fair. Until we face that nothing is going to improve.

  • I just want to point out that the C.I.A. does most of the trading of heroin to fund their other projects. That’s why they stopped the destruction of the fields. Yes, the Control In Addiction, from coke to heroin, and anything in between.

  • Remember, this is karma. US troops guarded the poppy fields in Afghanistan, from whence this came! Th Taliban had all but eradicated the heroine poppy fields…and then we came on the scene!

  • This is by design to destroy our kids life to keep the banking elite in power and the wars going…wake up don’t do the NWO drugs…

  • So very sad.
    I’ve read that our armed forces are in Afghanistan primarily to protect the poppy fields.
    Hmm. It’s all about the money.

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