Heroin runs rampant in small town communities initiating new treatment method laws in the Senate.
(Photo by Robin Ay: Clarity, uses a Barbie doll and syringe to create awareness about the US heroin epidemic.)
Heroin is a growing epidemic in the US. So much so The Huffington Post has written a story near-weekly for the last 6 months. CBS’ 60 Minutes covered this growing problem with their documentary Heroin in the Heartland, and CNN has also covered the heroin problem as it begins to take hold on New Hampshire.
Yesterday, the Senate passed a bill into legislation that will “bend drug policy away from punishment and toward a public health approach.” Instead of quitting cold-turkey, addicts will be given medication assistance (a method proven to be more effective). But the problem will not be completely rectified just by this bill alone. Medication treats the physical drug dependency, but not the underlying psychological problem creating the addiction in the first place.
(Photo by Robin Ay: Transcend, isolated lighting above a posed Barbie doll.)
During an interview with Vice, Dr. Gabor Maté explains addiction can be a result of a number of things: past experiences, an inability to cope with the real world, even genetics can play a part in one’s addictive behavior.
Until therapy and one-on-one counseling is offered to those sick with addiction the cycle will continue. Addicts will continue to leave treatment centers only to return to old habits. Without addressing the underlying problem that causes drug use, addicts will return to using because it’s the method that numbed the pain in the first place. There’s a reason people become addicts- because it works.
The good news is with the introduction of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and continued coverage by the media, there is a raised awareness to the heroin epidemic. Now is the time to take action by writing your House Representative to let them know CARA is just the start, states need to offer comprehensive rehabilitation and therapy services to addicts so they have the best chance at living a happy, healthy life.