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All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

Every Walgreens Now Carrying Narcan Opioid Overdose Antidote

Every Walgreens Now Carrying Narcan Opioid Overdose Antidote

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

You may remember back in early 2016 the pharmacy organization Walgreens announced two programs to address key issues in the opioid crisis.

  • Safe medical disposal kiosks for unused prescription drugs
  • Narcan expansion programs

By the end of 2016, Walgreens had expanded access to the opioid overdose antidote without the requirement of a prescription to 33 states and the District of Columbia. The Narcan opioid overdose antidote, also known by the generic name Naloxone, is a nasal spray that is utilized all over the country as a means to revive someone experiencing an opioid overdose.

Now, this life-saving compound is becoming even more accessible, as Walgreens is announcing the Narcan opioid overdose antidote will now be available at all of its over 8,000 pharmacy locations!

Pharmacies Stepping Up to the State of Emergency

This new move to combat the opioid epidemic comes at a crucial time. The epidemic continues to claim lives every day, with recovery advocates and government officials rallying for more resources to fight the problem.

Today, Thursday, October 26, 2017, the nation is expecting President Donald Trump to officially declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency at a scheduled White House event.

According to Rick Gates, Vice President of Walgreens,

“By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed.”

The company offers Narcan opioid overdose antidote without a prescription in 45 states and is willing to work with the remaining states to make to include them.

Of course, the fight for more availability of Narcan and Naloxone has been going on for some time. However, it seems as the country is calling for more sweeping action from government officials; pharmacies are taking it as a call to action themselves. Rick Gates went on to say,

“As a pharmacy, we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve.”

Walgreens also says it will inform customers about the Narcan opioid overdose antidote if they receive drugs with more than 50 morphine milligram equivalents (MME). This is actually a recommendation from the CDC.

It isn’t just Walgreens either. CVS pharmacy has expanded access to Narcan and other products that contain naloxone. CVS reportedly has been offering prescription-free naloxone in up to 43 states as of last month. CVS pharmacies have said that its locations “in most communities have naloxone on hand and can dispense it the same day or ordered for the next business day.”

Big Pharma’s Role

Big Pharma wholesaler AmerisourceBergen is also helping in these efforts. AmerisourceBergen is now distributing Narcan demo devices at no cost to Walgreens pharmacists. These demo devices will help with instructing patients on how to administer the medication safely and effectively.

Robert Mauch, Executive Vice President & Group President, Pharmaceutical Distribution & Strategic Global Sourcing for AmerisourceBergen, states,

“At AmerisourceBergen, we strive to provide our customers the highest quality care and support so they can ultimately enhance the lives of patients in their communities,”

“We recognize the important role we play in addressing the opioid epidemic, and our collaboration with Walgreens is another key milestone to supply our customers with access to lifesaving initiatives and emergency medications that can help keep individuals safe across the country.”

Ironically, AmerisourceBergen just so happens to be one of the three largest drug distributors that were mentioned in the recent 60 Minutes interview with ex-DEA agent Joe Rannazzisi. In the segment that has since caused a major uproar, Rabbazzisi said companies including AmerisourceBergen controlled probably 85%- 90% of drugs that went “downstream” and ended up on the streets.

This might not be what Mauch meant by “recognize the important role we play”, but at least it seems like AmerisourceBergen is taking steps to become part of a solution.

Meanwhile, Adapt Pharma, the manufacturer of Narcan Nasal Spray, celebrates this action by Walgreens to expand naloxone and Narcan access. Seamus Mulligan, CEO at Adapt Pharma states,

“This action is an important milestone and we applaud Walgreens initiatives to improve access to Narcan Nasal Spray in communities across the U.S.,”

“This effort, combined with the opportunity for patients and caregivers to obtain Narcan Nasal Spray without an individual prescription in 45 states, is critical in combating this crisis.”

America is working hard to find the right path on the road to recovery from the devastating opioid crisis. It is crucial that we make every possible resource available to help save lives. With opioid overdose killing an estimated 91 people every day, the need for this life-saving medication could not be more evident.

Beyond reversing the effects of an overdose, there is more we need to do. While having access to Narcan and naloxone can help tremendously, we also need to promote recovery and addiction treatment resources. Preservation of life is important, but giving people the help they need to live a happier and healthier life should also be a priority in the fight to overcome the opioid crisis. Palm Partners Recovery Center believes in actively providing the best in innovative and holistic treatment opportunities, to help transform lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we want to help. Please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Did Satisfaction Surveys Make Opioid Crisis Worse?


Did Satisfaction Surveys Make Opioid Crisis Worse?

Author: Shernide Delva

The opioid crisis is pinpointed to a variety of sources, yet those blamed the most are doctors. Doctors are criticized for their generous prescribing of prescription painkillers that led to patients developing an addiction to the drug. Drugs like oxycodone were for a long time easily prescribed until recently. Once the prescription drugs became more difficult to obtain, addicts turns to heroin thus resulting in the shocking epidemic we are in today.

However, there is more to the story. Turns out, patient satisfaction surveys may be another major part of the puzzle. These surveys continue to influence doctors today. To understand the problem, you have to understand the influence these surveys have. Doctors incomes are based on survey scores, and patients who are not given a desired prescription leave doctors a low score on their satisfaction surveys.

 The Opioid Crisis: Behind the Scenes

An article published in The Fix explained the behind the scenes in hospital emergency rooms. ER doctor of osteopathic medicine Gerald O’Malley opened up about what he considers to be the biggest culprit in the opioid crisis. With over 25 year of experience, he understands the depth of the epidemic from a medical point of view.

The culprit is the hospital satisfaction surveys mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS is a government organization that dictates payment for medical surveys and sets the agenda for the entire insurance industry.

The problem with these surveys is that they contradict the doctor-patient relationship dynamic. Instead of the relationship being about trust and integrity, it becomes about the doctor pleasing the patient for improved survey scores. The physician no longer is an adviser, but a corporate spokesperson. Hospital administrations hand out scripts to memorize and recite.

“We were told to say, ‘Hi, my name is So and So, and I’ll be your doctor today,’ and ‘Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to make your experience here more pleasant.’ It was incredibly insulting to me, and what you’d expect from a waiter or electronics salesman,” said O’Malley. “I like to treat people as individuals, not somebody who came to the ER to spend money.”

At Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, O’Malley described a common scenario where staff were routinely lectured by the department chairperson. They were told their survey scores would be judged and to be aware of the consequences of low performance.

“Then, just to be dramatic, I guess, the chair quoted a line from The Godfather,” said O’Malley. “He said, ‘This is the business we’ve chosen.’ Which meant, if you don’t like it, get out.”

What the Surveys Require:

The expectations to earn a high score on these surveys have little to do with a doctor’s ability to take care of a patient.

“It had nothing to do with medical care,” said O’Malley.

Instead, the surveys instill behaviors such as having staff knock on doors and introduce themselves. Doctors also must accommodate the requests of their patients.

“We had to allow as many people into the room if they requested it. One time there were five family members; two in wheelchairs. There was literally no way for me to get to the bed. I had to play traffic cop and say, ‘I’m sorry, I understand you all want to be here but I need to perform an exam so some of you have to leave.’

Seems like an appropriate request from a doctor attempting to do their job, however administration does not see it that way.

“That kind of honest, blunt conversation was frowned upon by the administration. They don’t practice medicine so they don’t understand that it’s fucking impossible to try to talk to someone about anything sensitive. They may not want their family members to know what drugs they’ve taken. But asking everybody to leave is uncomfortable.”

In addition, these surveys request that medical personnel sit during consultations. Studies show that sitting down makes customers feel like their physician is with them longer. That sounds manipulative because it is, but O’Malley says the point is to give customers the perception of good care. Moods matter too.  Medical personnel are to maintain their energetic demeanor despite physical exhaustion from working long hours.

Drug Abusers:  Doctors Struggle to Do the Right Thing

When it comes to patients seeking narcotics, their opinion of their doctor will largely relate to whether they leave with a prescription. Unfortunately, doing the right thing in this situation can negatively affect a doctor’s survey results and stir up conflict.

“They’d walk in and say, ‘I need two milligrams of Dilaudid 4 with 25 milligrams of Phenergan,’ and, ‘Come on, chop, chop, let’s go. Snap to it.’ Or they’d say, ‘I’m going home now, so I need a prescription for 50 tablets of oxycodone.’ After looking up their records in the computer, I’d have to say, ‘Hang on, you just got a prescription for 50 tablets of oxycodone last week.’

“Then suddenly, you’re in a confrontation. The patient is yelling ‘I want to speak to your boss!’ If it’s 2:30 in the morning, I was the most senior person there. In those circumstances I knew this was somebody abusing oxycodone or selling it in a school playground somewhere. So then it’s ‘What do I do now?’ Did I really want to deal with this for the next two weeks, having to explain why this guy got so pissed off and gave me bad survey numbers?”

In situations like these, doing the right things becomes a difficult decision. It is easy to see why doctors sometimes choose the easier route of prescribing the requested meds. Emergency room visits are skyrocketing because of lack of healthcare. Many addicts go to ERS because they are open 24 hours.

“I had a guy show up at three in the morning with a herpes outbreak. He said, ‘I need Acyclovir and Zovirax cream.’ Okay, that made sense. But then he said, ‘I need something for the pain—Percocet or Vicodin or Dilaudid.’ I go, ‘Dude, you’ve got herpes. It’s not like a broken leg.’”

Making Difficult Decisions

When the patient is denied their prescription, they  may soar into a roaring fit, demanding to speak to higher authority and provoking further conflict. Sadly, it is easier for some doctors to decide to not do what is right, but what is easier. After all, their survey scores are sent to the CMS who use those scores to distribute reimbursements.

“Look,” said O’Malley, “we have certain metrics we have to meet. If CMS doesn’t like our scores, then, guess what? They’re not going to reimburse us. We’re going to be out money.”

Even when doctors tighten up on prescribing painkillers, it leaves behind those who need them most: chronic pain sufferers. Dr. O’Malley admits when a chronic pain sufferer comes into the ER late at night requesting a prescription for an opioid, it puts him in a difficult position.

“I’ve never seen them before. I don’t know if the stuff they’re saying is true. I don’t want to see people in pain but I have a social responsibility not to contribute to this opioid epidemic. They say, ‘I don’t care about your social responsibility. I want my narcotics NOW! If I don’t get them I’m going to slam you on your evaluation.’”

Administering Narcan

When it comes to administering Narcan (naloxone), Dr. O’Malley sees the increase availability of Narcan as a positive force in the opioid epidemic. When doctors revive patients, they often become belligerent with medical personnel.

“They jump off the bed, and run out of the ER. That is terrifying. Narcan is only going to last 20 to 30 minutes. If they overdosed on opioids like methadone or oxycodone they’re going to go back into respiratory arrest, or pass out at the top of a staircase, or get behind the wheel of a car.”

Sadly, the epidemic is only getting worse.  The worse part, O’Malley says, is having to tell families their children have died because of an overdose. Therefore, despite the consequences of bad survey scores, it is important all doctors take a stand in preventing the amount of overdoses reported annually in the United States. They must do the right thing.

Every 19 minutes, someone dies from opioids alone. The opioid crisis is complex and it may take time to figure out the right solution; however that does not mean you should give up. Treatment is critical and if you or someone you know is currently struggling, the time is now to seek treatment. Do not wait. Seek treatment today.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135



Find Out the Overdose Death Rate in YOUR State

Find Out the Overdose Death Rate in YOUR State

Author: Justin Mckibben

Take a moment of silence and consider the facts. It’s not unlikely that right now somewhere someone is dying from a drug overdose.

In all reality, several people just like you and me will die today overdosing.

Drug overdose deaths have continued to scar our country at increasingly distressing rates. According to the most recent reports drug overdose death rates have increased in 26 states and Washington, D.C. as overdoses continue to outpace car crashes as the leading cause of injury-related deaths.

6 states have improved:

  • Washington
  • North Dakota
  • Maine
  • Florida
  • Arkansas
  • Alabama

But not everyone has been so fortunate, and the greater half has gotten worse as these state have been subjected to an epidemic that has claimed more lives in a tragic trend that is crippling families and communities all over.

So where does your state fall?

State Ranked Overdose Deaths

The following information was provided by a statistics and studies site claiming to pull all data from over 18,000 sources.

The statistics used for these rankings are for drug overdose death rates in the United States in 2014, sorted by U.S. states with number of deaths from drug overdose per 100,000 inhabitants. So the number doesn’t represent the total number of deaths, but the average per populous. The following list shows all 50 states from lowest to highest overdose death rate in the United States:

(Remember- # of deaths per every 100,000 people)

  • North Dakatoa- 3 deaths
  • South Dakota- 6.1 deaths
  • Nebraska- 7.3 deaths
  • Virginia- 8.4 deaths
  • Iowa- 8.5 deaths
  • Minnesota- 8.6 deaths
  • New York- 9 deaths
  • Texas- 9.9 deaths
  • Kansas- 10.4 deaths
  • Georgia- 10.8 deaths
  • Mississippi- 10.9 deaths
  • California- 11 deaths
  • Connecticut- 11 deaths
  • Maine- 11 deaths
  • Illinois- 11.1 deaths
  • Vermont- 11.3 deaths
  • New Jersey- 11.6 deaths
  • Alabama- 11.7 deaths
  • Hawaii- 11.7 deaths
  • Wisconsin- 11.8 deaths
  • Massachusetts- 12.1 deaths
  • Maryland- 12.2 deaths
  • Idaho- 12.3 deaths
  • Arkansas- 12.6 deaths
  • North Carolina- 12.6 deaths
  • Montana- 12.8 deaths
  • Louisiana- 12.9 deaths
  • Oregon-13.1 deaths
  • New Hampshire- 13.4 deaths
  • South Carolina- 13.5 deaths
  • Michigan- 13.9 deaths
  • Washington- 14 deaths
  • Alaska- 14.4 deaths
  • Colorado- 14.8 deaths
  • Indiana- 15.1 deaths
  • Florida- 15.2 deaths
  • Wyoming- 15.7 deaths
  • Missouri- 16.3 deaths
  • Delaware- 16.6 deaths
  • Tennessee- 17.2 deaths
  • Rhode Island- 17.3 deaths
  • Pennsylvania- 17.4 deaths
  • Ohio- 17.5 deaths
  • Arizona- 17.7 deaths
  • Oklahoma- 19.8 deaths
  • Utah- 20.1 deaths
  • Nevada- 22.2 deaths
  • Kentucky- 24 deaths
  • New Mexico- 24.8 deaths
  • West Virginia- 31.3 deaths

Surprised where your state is? I know I was!

Of course it is essential that you consider several elements that can contribute to these numbers. Some areas have a much smaller population, so state wide they will typically have more addicts and therefore more overdoses.

Still, looking at these averages and wondering how we can hope to curb such a depressing trend makes the mission seem of paramount importance.

Thankfully the numbers of states that have “rescue drug” laws that allow prescription access to overdose antidotes like naloxone have doubled since 2013, and new initiatives are consistently being developed and applied to try and educate citizens about drug abuse, overdose and their treatment options.

Not all overdoses are due to drug abuse either. While in a lot of cases it’s probably safe to assume the individual was a hard drug user or drug addict, it is not the only explanation. Some individuals don’t understand the dangers of mixing certain drugs with each other or with alcohol and the devastating effect it can have on the body.

Out of all this we can definitely determine one fundamental and undeniable truth- the epidemic is real. The problem is right here, and it’s across the nation on the west coast. It is back in my home town of Ohio (8) reaping havoc on the Midwest, and it is killing thousands everywhere in between. This isn’t just heroin, or opiates, but all drugs.

New initiatives aim to change all this. Support for treatment, harm reduction and education should render our current practices in the war on drugs obsolete, because these numbers show us America stands at this critical crossroads.

I personally challenge more people to get involved in raising awareness and speaking up, in memory of those we will lose today.

There is a way out. We each can do our part to change that statistic, and for the addict or alcoholic who still suffers there are thousands of people just like you who have recovered and who want to help you. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135





Florida Passes Emergency Treatment for Opioid Overdose Act

Florida Gets Emergency Treatment for Opioid Overdose Act

Author: Justin Mckibben

New legislation is being processed and approved all over America with the intention of irradiating the increasing opioid epidemic, with officials teaming up across parties to participate in the discussion and development of initiatives to put the opportunities out there for saving and changing lives of addicts across the nation.

Now Florida has a new law that will undoubtedly help with the threat of overdose deaths. Republican Governor Rick Scott signed off on a new pieces of legislation that will put the power of the opioid overdose antidote in the hands of the people who need it most, which stands to have a pretty legitimate impact on the vast recovery community in the area.

With a Republican majority, the fight against the mounting and disturbing mortality rate has been a bipartisan battle. This month Florida joins the ranks of 28 other states, both conservative and liberal, with similar bills being approved to make naloxone more accessible, also known as Narcan (opioid overdose antidote).

Behind Bill HB-751

On June 10th2015, just this past week, Rick Scott signed off on a new piece of legislation that will give first responders, caregivers, and patients in Florida the authority to prescribe and administer naloxone, a pure antidote to opioid overdose.

Bill HB-751, AKA the Emergency Treatment for Opioid Overdose Act, was ratified recently and authorizes healthcare providers and pharmacies to prescribe and dispense naloxone to patients and caregivers, who can then administer the drug to anyone who they think, in good faith, is experiencing an opiate-related overdose.

The bill has been sponsored by Pensacola Senator Greg Evers, and Representatives Julio Gonzalez of Venice and Doc Renuart of Ponte Vedra Beach. It has been aimed at alleviating Florida’s overdose death rate, which now is 11th-highest in the country.

The important difference created by the Emergency Treatment for Opioid Overdose Act is the same that sets it and other bills which extend the access of naloxone to third parties apart is that it offers civil liability to caregivers and others who may end up administering the drug.

What does it mean?

It means a person attempting to save a life with this overdose antidote is protected from being held responsible in case something were to go wrong, so the individual will not face legal ramifications for any adverse effects that could be argued as caused by administering naloxone.

This has been a matter of some debate, considering that many ponder how many lives may or may not be saved if healthcare providers are afraid to administer a medication which could mean the difference between death or recovery for an addict at the edge of oblivion.

Acknowledging the Epidemic Every Day

Where does this change come from?

Well harm reduction has already been gaining some serious ground in this discussion, and for these reforms in policy to be effective and encouraged people have to acknowledge the epidemic every day.

A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed overdose deaths involving heroin have nearly quadrupled from 2000-2013, and keeping with statistics of epidemic outbreak patterns, it’s likely the numbers in 2015 are much higher. There are already reports from several states flooding in about severe overdose rates just half-way through the year.

As the opiate issue becomes increasingly calamitous, more states are likely to develop programs to make naloxone more accessible.

That is welcome news, especially considering the change in public opinion. Almost exactly 1 year ago we reported on the Governor of Maine Paul LePage vetoing a similar bill that had passed in 2013, calling the overdose antidote an “excuse to stay addicted” and openly admitting that he would oppose future legislation to make naloxone more accessible.

On the other end, October of 2014 Staten Island was handing out Narcan kits all over the place trying to fight the growing epidemic. Illinois law makers even debated just this past March about making overdose antidotes available to school nurses given the overdose deaths of students in the area.

The concept has never been completely cut and dry, but it seems like the overall opinion is shifting a bit, and Florida has made its move.

For a state with such a thriving recovery community, especially South Florida which is often referred to as the recovery capitol of the nation, it only makes sense to have more resources for health care providers to… ya know, provide healthcare… duh!

Saving a life shouldn’t be something people are afraid to do. What sense would it make to expect addiction specialists, who strive to save addicts and help them rehabilitate, to just let an addict die from fear of legal punishment?

I wouldn’t be here today if doctors were afraid to use anti-overdose medications, so I support empowering physicians to save more lives. Sure regulation and proper training should definitely be in place, but you don’t clip the wings off of a guardian angel. Why take the weapons away from soldiers on the front line?

Overdose death and addiction have destroyed enough lives already, and they continue to hurt people everywhere. Now more methods are becoming available to help those who are hurting, and a healthy future is much closer than you think. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135


Inside the US Heroin Capital

Inside the US Heroin Capital

Author: Justin Mckibben

I dare you to take a wild guess what the heroin capital of the United States is. Some used to suspect it was New Jersey, or maybe even Boston, Massachusetts. Nope. Try Baltimore, Maryland… or more infamously referred to by some of its more creative population as ‘Body-more Murder-land’! Also called B-more, as in “Y’all B****’s Better B(e)-More Careful” according to a Baltimore, MD native. This area has gained some obvious notoriety for its rough edges and gritty streets as depicted in hit series The Wire. Government agencies estimate that as many as one in 10 of the residents of the city of Baltimore are addicted to heroin. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) claims that the city of Baltimore has the highest per capita heroin addiction rate in the country! And the DEA also estimates that the total number of addicts in the city may vary, but experts agree it’s a very staggering statistic.

Interview with the Addicts

A recent interview with a 42 year old Baltimore resident named Wanda, who was one of the many addicts in the area, gave an interesting insight into the current situation.

“I did tricks, I stole, I robbed, I did whatever I had to do to get it,” Wanda said about her $50-a-day heroin habit. “The drug was taking control of my life.”

Wanda, who requested that her last name not be used in the publications about her interview, said she had begun using heroin at the age of 18. Now she is in a drug addiction rehabilitation program at the Center for Addiction Medicine in downtown Baltimore. Drug-free for more than two months, Wanda is very open and honest about the desperation of the devastating and deadly heroin habit, admitting to the interviewer,

“I Wanted to Die.”

This same sentiment of a drug user’s death wish was repeated in other interviews, including an interview with a young man named Jonathan who at 18 years old says he has contemplated suicide in the past. Jonathan had just quit the drug, and explains that his $140 a day heroin habit had pushed him to the point where he has lost his “feeling of self-worth”, and he had pondered intentionally overdosing on the drug. Since he has been off heroin, Jonathan has been treated with what is described as a ‘substitute drug’ prescription of buprenorphine.

A 27-year-old woman who asked to be identified only as “T” who is currently undergoing treatment says her heroin addiction turned her from a ballet student into an exotic dancer.

“I went from dancing at the Peabody [Institute] to dancing in a strip club — that’s how I paid for that habit,” she says. “[Heroin] will make you do things you wouldn’t expect yourself to do.”

Baltimore City Statistics

There seems to be no shame in the Baltimore drug game, with narcotic transactions taking place in broad daylight at Lexington Market. On one episode of Drugs, Inc. featuring Baltimore an addict tells viewers Baltimore “is where you want to be for heroin,” and she scores some drugs, the local heroin addict lets the camera watch her cook and shoot up in her car on a street that appears to be in Hampden. The hour long episode is filled with unnamed men in masks sitting behind bags full of dope and tables filled with guns, pills and money making malicious remarks and blatantly displaying disregard for police.

With an estimated population of 645,000 the Baltimore Department of Health estimates that there are 60,000 drug addicts, with as many as 48,000 of them hooked on heroin. Beyond that federal report released last month puts the number of heroin addicts alone at 60,000. This astounding number goes to show why experts are now viewing Baltimore as the heroin capital in America. The heroin infestation in Baltimore is so acute that the federal government has designated Baltimore part of what it calls a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, making it eligible for special federal assistance to local police forces while trying to combat the rising population of addicts in the area.

The director of the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA program Tom Carr says the heroin epidemic in Baltimore dates back to the 1950s and is now an engrained part of the city’s culture. The Washington/Baltimore HIDTA program is Carr a joint federal, state and local effort to confront the heroin outbreak head-on.

“It’s an old ‘heroin town’. There is an appetite for heroin in Baltimore … It’s accepted by all too many people down there as something that’s normal behavior,” Carr included in a recent statement addressing the issue.

“It’s almost a rite of passage for some,” he adds, noting that heroin habits are often passed down from generation to generation.

Purer, Stronger, More Deadly

One in every 10 residents of the city of Baltimore snorts, smokes, or more commonly heats and then injects the white powder with a needle, and according to a February report by the HIDTA the heroin found in Baltimore is significantly more potent than the heroin sold in many other areas of the country.

In the mid-1990s, Baltimore became a key East Coast distribution point for high purity South American heroin. Smuggled into the United States from Colombia, South American heroin is considerably more pure than its East Asian and Mexican counterparts. The fact that this heroin is so much more potent makes it more addictive and more deadly. There were 304 fatal heroin-related overdoses in Baltimore and the number of heroin-related hospital emergencies was very similar in the last year alone!

Now with the average price tag for this dangerous narcotic being quoted at about $100 to $120 per gram, combined with the higher potency, and with a noticeable increase in availability the reduced street price is fueling the Baltimore’s plague of heroin addiction by luring in new users more than ever. Many are fooled into thinking because the drug can be used by snorting or smoking it that it is safer than the traditional stigma of shooting the drug with needles, but this is absolutely not the case. Heroin consumed in any way is just as deadly.

Sadly, Baltimore may not be anywhere close to getting out of this epidemic just yet, and the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA program predicted in its February situation report, “The number of heroin addicts in Baltimore will continue to rise. However there is help locally for drug addiction treatment, as well as outside the city.

If they say that Baltimore, MD is now known as the ‘Heroin Capital of America’ than the popular opinion that South Florida is the ‘Recovery Capital of America’ should come as a relief to so many. While there is still plenty of reform and action that must be taken all over the country, it may be a fair assumption that some areas would be more conducive to building a foundation in recovery, as others are assumed to be more dangerous for addicts. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135  



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