DEA: Heroin now increasing everywhere in America

The DEA today issued a press release that begins like this: “Heroin use has increased across the United States among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. The greatest increases have occurred in groups with historically lower rates of heroin use, including women and people with private insurance and higher incomes.”cropped-IMG_4841.jpg

The release discusses a new report by the FDA and CDC about heroin’s use across the country.

The only fact it appears to leave out is that almost all the new addicts are white.

Still, for a long time, heroin has seemed to me a way of talking about America.

One reason for that is what the DEA expresses – that heroin is so widespread and in areas and populations that never knew it.

But heroin is also a way of talking about our loss of community and publicly shared assets – streets, parks, etc. Of a retreat indoors, figuratively and literally.

I believe heroin is the final expression, the final extension of our multi-decade exaltation of the free market, the individual and consumption. How else to view a drug that turns everyone addicted to it into self-absorbed hyperconsumers?

That’s why I wrote Dreamland and didn’t have one addict shooting up. To do so would have been to distract from the larger point, that this drug thrives in areas without much community feel, community anchor – the area could be poor, could be wealthy. What they share is a lack of community and public interaction and encounter.


Filed under Drugs, The Heroin Heartland

3 Responses to DEA: Heroin now increasing everywhere in America

  1. Julie Pipes

    My god. I really think that you have hit at the heart of it. We have become so consumerist that this generation feels so set apart. I am sick about how “individualistic” we have become. I am guilty as well. And yet, this feels like the inevitable result. I will be following the story.

  2. Terri Rivers

    You would think the politicians would notice that marijuana is no longer the drug of choice. This book is a very interesting read

  3. Go figure if Donald Trump finds out about the Xalisco Boys!!

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