Increase of Heroin in the North-East

By Sanchit Dhiman

The use of Heroin, a powerful addictive opiate pain-killer, has been on the rise in the New York Capital Region. The desire for this drug has exploded due to an increase in its potency, a plunge in its price, a rise in the ways to smuggle the drug and a increase in supply provided by the Mexican cartels.

According to an article by , the number of Heroin overdoses in 12 Upstate counties has been exponentially rising at an alarming rate. Just from 2009 to 2013, this number has surged by 417%. Across New York State, the deaths related to overdoses of opioids including heroin and prescription painkillers rose from 940 to 2044 from 2004 to 2012, which is a 117% jump. Consider Onondaga County alone; the number rose from 14 to 84, a 500% increase. In April 2014, two students from SUNY Oswego died due to an accidental heroin overdose.

The increasing death toll has been a concern to city officials of Syracuse and Oswego who haven’t found solutions to address the problem. Although the amount of drugs that has been seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration has increased by about 274% from 2008 to 2012, the matter of the fact is that smugglers are finding new ingenious ways to smuggle heroin into the United States effortlessly. Some methods include stashing the drug inside prosthetic limbs, attaching it to their undergarments, inside their shoes and also in dead animals. The ever increasing demand for the drug has caused cartels to step up and increase their supply, which has caused an increase in the quantity of the drug being sold and also a significant plunge in it’s price, making it readily accessible to the average person. According to, one reason the demand for the drug is increasing is that the drug is extremely addictive and has immensely strong withdrawal symptoms such as aches throughout your entire body, sweating, nausea, high fever, restlessness and having trouble falling asleep. Most people aren’t able to quit cold turkey and end up relapsing.

According to , the general usage of heroin amongst teens in high school has been slowly decreasing. The heroin use is at its lowest levels in history amongst teenagers currently in school. However, the main culprits for the increase in the usage of the drug are 18-25 year old young adults, as stated by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).


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