29 September 2013
If one traveled through the small quiet community of Monroe, MI you would probably never think that this town has a drug problem. From the outside it seems like a nice middle class suburb that might be ideal to raise a family. For those that reside here however, they know that there is a growing problem. There aren’t many families that haven’t been affected by heroin addiction in this small town. The drug has literally swept through this county like an angry mob of rioters bringing crime, death, and destruction with it, leaving many people in the community asking, “Why?”
An article posted in the Monroe Evening News on July 2, 2013 stated:
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According to the website drugfreeworld.org, “New painkillers came on the market with approval from the Food and Drug Administration: Vicodin in 1984, OxyContin in 1995, and Percocet in 1999. These are synthetic (or man-made) opiates which mimic (imitate) the body’s own painkillers.” All of these synthetic opioids are also very addictive, and they all cause the same intense withdrawal symptoms that heroin does. After the introduction of OxyContin, and Percocet, Pain Management Clinics soon followed. Pain Management Clinics are doctors’ offices that have the sole purpose of treating patients with chronic pain, usually by use of opiate pain medication. Some of these doctors became greedy and realized that this could be a great way to capitalize. It can’t be proven but some argue that these doctors knowing the high rate of addiction to these medications, began prescribing them to anyone, knowing that the patient would have to come back to see them when they ran out. The state and local officials soon became aware of this but the fact that it’s extremely hard to prove whether or not a person is really suffering from severe pain, made it extremely hard for officials to come up with a way to regulate the problem.
If you have no experience with addiction especially heroin addiction it’s very hard to understand what leads to it, and why people will do just about anything to get their next fix. With long term use the user not only gets mentally addicted to the drug, their body’s also become physically dependent on it. Intense withdrawal’s generally set in within 24 hours from their last use and get worse over the first few days. Withdrawal symptoms include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, sleeplessness, and intense anxiety. When in full blown withdrawal the user becomes very desperate. Facing both the mental and physical effects, they will generally do anything they have to do to acquire their next fix. I interviewed 5 recovering addicts in the Monroe area who are all in a program of recovery now but did not wish to have their names mentioned. One of the female interviewees stated, “When you’re going through withdrawals from heroin, your whole existence is revolved around how you’re going to get your next fix. I would do anything to achieve that goal, whether it be steeling from friends, family, stores, or even selling my body if I became desperate enough.” She claims, “Looking back now, it’s hard for me to believe that was me. That’s something I never would have even thought about doing just a few short years before my addiction began.” They all said that their opiate addiction actually started with prescription pain killers, 4 of them said...