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Friday, June 13, 2014

New York Gov. Announces Heroin Plan

The citizens of New York are no strangers to the illegal drug crisis, but the heroin epidemic that has swept across the city has many officials concerned. This week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced in a speech that a hundred State Police investigators are being added to drug units around the state in order to help curb the rise in heroin abuse, according to the New York Times. “I’ll be the first to say to you: New York State has a problem with heroin addiction, and it is a growing problem,” said Cuomo in his speech.

Many remember the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980’s that brought New York to its knees. However, many do not remember that New Yorkers dealt with a heroin epidemic in the 1970’s, but this new crisis towers over the old. “In the ’70s we had a heroin epidemic. This is worse than what we went through before,” Cuomo said.

The prescription drug epidemic has left many Americans dependent on opioid narcotics. The federal government's attempts to stop the prescription drug problem has made it more difficult to acquire prescription opioids and much more expensive. The crackdown on prescription drug abuse has caused thousands of addicts to turn to heroin as a much stronger and cheaper alternative.

As a result, New York City has become the largest hub for heroin distribution on the East Coast. Most of the heroin originates from traffickers in New York City and spreads north through the state, said Joseph D’Amico, the superintendent of the State Police. The drug has found a home in New York suburbs and the problem cannot be ignored.

“When it gets into our suburbs, into our rural areas, into our high schools, into our colleges, it is so much more obvious because it wasn’t there before,” said D’Amico. “But it’s not just a suburban problem. It’s everywhere.”

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