I watched a documentary last night on a PBS show called Frontline. The episode was titled “Chasing Heroin”. I hope you will watch it yourself here. It’s 2016 and we have a heroin epidemic. Did you know? I didn’t! I’ve heard about the opium problem through a close friend of mine who’s son and many teens got hooked on OxyContin. Their family went through hell trying to get help. It was such a huge problem that the Purdue Pharmaceutical Company stopped making it and made a less addictive drug. This caused an even bigger problem. Those already addicted had to find an alternative. They chose another opiate, heroin. These people were prescribed this medication through their family doctor and now roam the streets looking for heroin and imprisoned.
This was a huge shock to me. Those of us who live middle class lives don’t usually see this lifestyle but more and more we are exposed it. My daughter, Justine was arrested for drugs. I don’t usually talk about it and many of my friends don’t even know. I have written about these experiences in my book, Not My Story To Tell. I know what drugs they were and they weren’t heroin, but the facts remain.
The reason I’m writing about this is because of a program in Seattle that I learned about on this show. It’s called LEAD. I’m including information about it here. When people are arrested for drug use, instead of putting them in jail, they are helped! Imagine that! They are offered the option of going into rehab or are helped with mental illness. I was so happy to see this huge shift in law enforcement. What good does throwing people in jail do?
I would like to hear any opinions on this topic.