Seeds: Over the past year, the DC, Maryland, Virginia tri-state area (DMV) has seen a spike in heroin and prescription abuse overdoses. The road that extends from Interstate 70 into Interstate 81 is known among the police as the Heroine Highway. Police suspect that addicts in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia are getting their drug supplies from Baltimore, a city that has been known for its heroine problem for years. The issue is worsening, as medics have come to expect two overdoses every 24 hours.
Core: The epidemic has resulted in 800 deaths in 2015. Furthermore, there has been a significant rise in the number of children in the foster care system, correlating to the fact that many parents have succumbed to addiction. Also, a shocking amount of newborn babies are being treated for withdrawal in hospitals, because their mothers were addicts when pregnant. According to Reuters, "In America, a baby is born dependent on opioids every 19 minutes." As a result of all of these addictions, the use of Narcan, a nasal spray that can be used to reverse the effects of an overdose, has nearly doubled.
Skin: The heroin and prescription drug epidemic has received a fair amount of local media attention. Many warnings have been issued, urging people to be aware, and look after their loved ones.
Leaves: As this epidemic continues to affect more suburban areas, families have begun to push for more treatment options. Some are pushing for a new documentary that depicts the harsh reality of addiction to be showed in classrooms in order to educate students. In another effort to increase education, the organization of phone banks has begun, connecting people with addiction related problems with those who have been devastatingly affected by addiction in their own lives.
Food For Thought: What do you think is the right way to address this problem? Do you support decriminalizing drug use? Or do you want stricter laws?