Packages of the drug found in the apartment where Philip Seymour Hoffman died offered a window into the actor’s struggle with addiction and exposed a seedy underground where heroin sells for as little as $6 a bag.
This article in Monday’s New York Times notes that from 2010 to 2012, after several years of decline, heroin-related overdose deaths increased 84 percent in New York City to 382. (A 2012 SAMSHA study of 70,000 Americans aged 12 and older indicated that there has been a widespread increase of heroin use in the US with 669,000 users in 2012, compared to 620,000 in 2011 and 373,000 users reported in 2007.)
Bridget Brennan the special narcotics prosecutor for New York City fears “generational amnesia” is one factor fueling the new epidemic. “We’re now 40 years out from our last major heroin epidemic and I think people have lost their memory of that drug’s devastation” She also pointed out that users have no way to be sure what they are purchasing when they buy heroin: “There’s no F.D.A. approval; it’s made however they decide to make it that day,” she said.
Officials speculate that tighter controls on prescription medications are contributing to rising heroin use in New York City and elsewhere.
See on www.nytimes.com