When I had my son 7 years ago and needed powder baby formula, I went to my local grocery store to buy it and was told I had to go to Customer Service to get it, where it was locked up with the cigarettes. I wondered why, assuming it was because people in need were trying to steal it because it was priced so high. It did have to do with “high” but not because of the prices: people were stealing Similac/Enfamil and selling it on the black market to cut heroin. Apparently infant formula is non-toxic and safe to cut with any number of drugs.
According to Special Agent Joanna Zoltay in a 2007 interview, “The popular powdered baby formula is primarily used in the drug world to dilute heroin and methamphetamine or to stretch the product when supplies run low. The consistency and the way it looks is what makes it a good cutting agent.”
Headlines across America almost every day are dealing with the rise of heroin usage and the criminal elements that have followed. Here are a few:
April 18 – Heroin dealer gets 35 years in prison after three customers die
April 21– Number of Heroin Deaths Soars in Md., Va.
It’s been a silent, slow and stealthy growth of illegal drug usage that is now becoming rampant in all states. We hear of deaths and overdoses in the news, including the recent case of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman who, after struggling with addiction for years, died of a heroin overdose. It should be a wake up call to what is rocking and resonating in our many small communities throughout America’s suburbia. We’ve been hearing so much about marijuana legalization in various states that we may be losing sight of what is a killing field in the war against drugs.
As I was informed by Judge Joe Owen, who presides over the Town of Wallkill court in Orange County, “Crime has risen significantly due to heroin.” This area is a small town in upstate New York about 80 miles from New York City. Apparently the rise of criminal cases can be accounted for due to heroin. People are stealing, prostituting, breaking in, anything they can do to get to the heroin, which is highly addicting and people are literally dying for it.
As a responsible parent, one tries to stay vigilant in protecting our little ones. So when you have states legalizing drugs, you begin to wonder as you hear of so many drug deaths, are they going to legalize heroin and other drugs, too? This is frightening to me because it seems the government and media sweeps this under the rug more times then not to advocate what seems to be more popular, legal mass marijuana use. I understand the war on drugs… I grew up in the midst of it. What I didn’t understand was why does our government punish the user as harshly as the pusher?
Here are more headlines, including a few from small local towns and counties surrounding the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area:
April 22 – Local teens overdose on new LSD-type drug
Heroin deaths in Virginia spike in 2013: (“Authorities say just this year, 18 people in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley have fatally overdosed on heroin. In Frederick County, Md., 14 people have overdosed; thirteen have overdosed in Montgomery County.”)
February 14, 2014 – Is heroin use in Fairfax County on the rise?
January 31, 2014 – McLean High School student’s heroin overdose shows disturbing trend facing police: (“James J. Hunt, acting special agent in charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration, said heroin was ‘pummeling the northeast, leaving addiction, overdoses and fear in its wake.’”)
The northeast United States is definitely more then feeling it as confirmed by Judge Joe Owen of Wallkill:
“As Judge of the sixth busiest town court in NYS, I can tell you that heroin is laying waste to our youth and devastating families. I would estimate that over half the criminal cases I hear involve heroin or its related activities. In the past four years, the amount of criminal cases I hear has more than doubled. The reason is because of heroin. People are committing crimes to fuel their addiction. As a result, larcenies are way up, as are home invasions and robberies. A jail sentence often does not seem to deter addicts from committing the same crimes again.”
How do you stop the war on drugs when States are legalizing once illegal drugs? That is a question to be answered and until it is, how do we shelter and save our children?