Author: Justin Mckibben
In America, estimates say nearly a thousand people died from drug overdose per week in 2015. This year, we see how this problem continues to grow and strike some cities with terrible intensity. Drug overdose was the leading cause of death in Philadelphia, claiming 700 people that year. One place in particular has earned a name for itself: “The Badlands.”
The Badlands of Philadelphia is an area encompassing the Kensington neighborhood and parts of North Philadelphia. Residents gave this part of town the infamous “The Badlands” title because of its high rate of crime including homicide, drug trafficking and gang activity. Just this past week nearly 50 residents in the Badlands of Philadelphia suffered overdoses from what narcotics officers believe was tainted heroin.
Luckily, according to an NBC Philadelphia report, there were no fatalities during the outbreak of overdoses on November 17. However, several individuals had to be revived using Naloxone. That is the opioid overdose antagonist that has seen expanded access all over the country in an effort to stop the ever increasing body count.
Record numbers of overdoses like this are popping up in various parts of the country, and it is an exclamation point to the story of the opioid epidemic in America. This was one very bad day in the Badlands of Philadelphia, but will it get worse before it gets better?
Badlands of Philadelphia: Following the Pattern
Philadelphia Police is working on laboratory tests to determine if these drugs are part of a growing problem with tainted narcotics. Many overdoses in several states have been linked to tainted heroin that has been mixed with Fentanyl or other synthetic analogues far more powerful than the illicit drug itself. This is not be the first time a bad batch of heroin has hit the Badlands of Philadelphia. Gary Tennis, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, had some powerful words concerning the way the epidemic has been handled until now.
“If we had ISIS terrorists roaming the streets, killing a thousand Americans a week, [or] ebola or some exotic disease, we wouldn’t tolerate it for a minute… But because of the stigma around this disease, we continue with policies federally, state and local, that are fundamentally inhumane.”
The Badlands of Philadelphia also made headlines in May of 2016 when the experimental painkiller W-18 was allegedly found within its territory. The dangerous W-18 is causing considerable hysteria in Canada and the United States.
Badlands of Philadelphia: W-18 and Fentanyl
As a recap from previous stories back in May of 2016, W-18 is a synthetic opiate and psychoactive substance similar to heroin. However, it is horrifically more deadly. W-18 is one of the most powerful opioid of a series of about 30 compounds. Experts go as far as to describe W-18 as being:
- 100 times more potent than fentanyl
- 10,000 times stronger than morphine
Though fentanyl or W-18 are yet to confirmed as the cause of the outbreak of overdoses in the Badlands of Philadelphia, fentanyl is considered to be responsible for a upsurge of overdoses that health officials say has risen 636% since last year.
- In 2013, 25 people died as a result of Fentanyl overdose in Philadelphia
- In 2015, 184 people died as a result of Fentanyl overdose
- The 2016 99 people died from Fentanyl overdose in Philadelphia in just the first four months
Between 2013 and 2015 is a seven fold increase in death. One can only imagine where the number will be by the end of this year. According to NBC news, Philadelphia also has some of the cheapest and most potent heroin in the nation. Reports claim that purity levels of heroin reach an estimate between 80% and 90% purity. That alone is incredibly deadly. The addition of unpredictable and synthetic drugs only magnifies the threat to life.
Badlands of Philadelphia: Not the Only “Badlands”
Philadelphia is not the only state with a section of “Badlands.” In reality, the “Badlands” are basically everywhere. In every major city, in every state, there are people suffering. A recent report stated that one American dies every 19 minutes from a heroin or opiate overdose. Not doesn’t include alcohol or any other drugs that contribute to the destruction caused by addiction all over the nation.
The new report from the U.S. Surgeon General highlights the distressing truth in the statistics. To understand the depth of the addiction crisis in America, one needs only to look around. The report says 1 in 7 Americans will face a substance use disorder. Sadly, only 10% of those will get the necessary treatment to save their life.
In the presence of great suffering there is still hope. People are finally working together to try and shed the stigma of addiction in many communities. The progress that is possible in holistic treatment is life changing, and taking the first steps can make all the difference. If you or someone you love is struggling, call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Dakota Johnson has had her fair share or television and theatrical roles in her life-time, and with two Hollywood parents she was bound to eventually earn a name for herself as a stunning and talented actress. Recently the producers and directors for the film adaptation to the sensually charged drama novel Fifty Shades of Grey announced their casting, and Dakota Johnson was put right up from as the leading lady. Little do most people know, Dakota had actually had a little bit of a party problem at one point, and even spent a short stint in drug rehab? Now some tabloids are speculating that this new stress of the spot-light may do some serious damage to the starlet’s sobriety.
History of Addiction
As the beautiful daughter of Melanie Griffith and Miami Vice star Don Johnson, Dakota had once admitted that her time spent as a child attending a Catholic boarding school in her teens was “miserable” because she was teased constantly at the tabloid stories that would surface about her famous parents. Later on her parents said she had developed a pretty healthy appetite for the party life, and they inquired about their concerns and she agreed to treatment at that time.
In their own past both Johnson and Griffith had previously attended rehabilitation facilities. Her father the former Miami Vice star battled drug and alcohol addiction while attending the Betty Ford Clinic in the mid 90’s, while his now ex-wife hit rehab for alcohol addiction back in 1988 and then again in 2000 for painkillers. Again another example of how often times the theory of genetics can be brought into the debate of what causes drug problems with the young, rich and famous.
In September 2007, it was widely reported that Dakota Johnson had completed a 30 day inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program at the Visions Teen Treatment Center in Malibu for drug and alcohol addiction. She also participated in an outpatient program in Brentwood.
Fifty Shades of Grey will be Dakota’s highest-profile movie role to date as Anastasia Steele, the stories main character. She has also appeared in The Social Network where she was captured close next to Justin Timberlake on screen and was last seen on the Fox television sitcom Ben & Kate.
It is no secret that being cast in a film such as the highly anticipated movie adaptation of the popular Fifty Shades of Grey series would be enough to launch any young actresses’ career to an A-List level. Dakota Johnson was definitely on top of the world when she learned that she had secured the role of Anastasia Steele. Now, just a few weeks later she is extremely fragile thanks to the extreme backlash that has erupted from die-hard fans of the trilogy, and how the general public had not reacted too kindly to the news she would be claiming the top spot.
According to the September 30th print edition of National Enquirer, Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson are seriously worried that all of the stress and negative attention from the media will push their daughter to cope with old habits, leading to a tragic fall off the wagon. As a former hard-core party teen with her history of drug addiction, it is not too far-fetched to be concerned about her ability to maintain her recovery. Those closest to her worry that the stress of the situation and the fact that the fans seem to be united against her even before she has filmed a single scene for the film could result in her falling back into old escape patterns.
The Role and Recovery
Dakota definitely should have expected that this was one of those roles that would warrant a huge reaction one way or another, and sadly it did not go her way initially. It’s always a guarantee that trying to breathe life into characters a popular book series on the big screen in a way that rings true is one of the most trying experiences for an actor or actress. If it’s a watered down performance in order not to get an ‘R’ rating then fans of the book will be furious anyway, so it will be tough for her regardless. Some speculate that if Dakota can’t handle the heat then perhaps she really isn’t the best choice for the role.
Personally I think this young woman has a chance at surprising critics and audiences. She has so far displayed an ability to show up for her character, even though her roles thus far have been much smaller. And she has a unique look that I think will help her stand out and make the story of Anastasia Steele a little more real. Either way I’m rooting for her as an underdog on this film, and I hope she is able to keep her recovery a top priority.
Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is a serious issue for all walks of life, so you don’t need a high-profile role in a feature film to develop a drug problem to afford the right kind of treatment that will give you a solid foundation to build a solid recovery, but vigilance and knowledge are very important. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-635