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Heroin and Suburbia

Changing the laws on the books and drawing attention to heroin use in America just because it is sweeping through suburbia is hypocritical, at best …

Heroin, a drug that has ravaged the African American community since the seventies, but available since the early twentieth century (when Bayer corporation marketed it as a non-addictive substitute to morphine) has always been an interesting drug. But to hear that it is a cheap alternative to powerful pain killers intrigues me.

You can’t blame addiction to heroin on the fact that it is cheaper than the more expensive, less dangerous, less habit forming, drugs you can’t afford. Traditionally, suburban kids were taking drugs that poor people couldn’t afford anyway. So now you tell me that, because heroin is cheaper, that it is not only preferred over painkillers, but that we need legislation to make emergency calls to authorities when one is faced with the possibility they may have overdosed a priority, when, if one is about to overdose on any other drug, a call for help would be incriminating ones self?

When poor people take crack, where are the compassionate pleas for help telling us that crack is a cheap alternative to cocaine? It is a step closer to legalization; either we have compassion for drug addicts across the board, regardless of their socioeconomic status, or we do not have compassion for anyone. I can’t say that I have a lot of sympathy when I have attended school with all types of suburban kids taking different types of drugs, hallucinogens, painkillers, and psychotropic drugs, all abused with reckless abandon, but now that heroin is affecting a different segment of suburbia that hasn’t dealt with drug use we should go about the process of decriminalizing a substance that should be decriminalized for other reasons? If you are going to decriminalize hard drugs, do it because of what legalization could do to prevent poor, disenfranchised Latinos and African-Americans whose presence has now overtaken the courts and the jail system in America, from having their lives destroyed for small, trivial offenses. Either you’re doing hard time for doing hard drugs in America or you don’t take the drugs at all. One of the reasons the painkillers are more expensive, could be the idea that they’re cheaper at the end of the day, for inconvenient reasons no one in America wants to talk about.

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