Rising Drug Abuse in Mobile, AL
During the 2015 Alabama Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Summit, statistics regarding the drug epidemic that is spreading across the state were shared. It was revealed that over 200 people in the state died from heroin overdose alone in the last year, which is a significant increase compared to previous years.
Apart from heroin, there has been an alarmingly rapid increase in the use of other drugs, including Spice, a/k/a synthetic marijuana, and the date-rape drug GHB. Like other cities in the United States, Mobile, Alabama is fighting a war against drugs.
Heroin Use in Mobile
One of the fastest-spreading drugs in the nation is heroin. According to reports, the number of first-time users of the deadly drug is rising rapidly and overall, there was a 66 percent increase in heroin use in 2011. It has reached epic proportions not only in large cities, but more so in the suburbs and rural towns of the country.
Heroin’s tentacles have now reached Alabama. While a few years ago, heroin overdoses in emergency rooms were few and far between. Today, emergency departments in hospitals deal with heroin-related cases every day. As mentioned, the drug is everywhere, making its way into homes in affluent neighborhoods to small, quiet, rural towns.
Heroin use is increasing, especially among people who abuse prescription opiate painkillers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alabama has the highest number of painkiller prescriptions in the United States. However, these drugs are now harder to access, making heroin the obvious alternative for users.
Heroin is also cheaper than prescription drugs. A capsule of the drug is sold for as low as $10. A painkiller is sold for up to $75. An added bonus for users is that heroin gives a much more intense high with a smaller dose.
The Deadly Fentanyl
US drug officials are warning people about an illicit version of fentanyl, a powerful anesthesia drug. There are drug dealers that lace heroin with this substance, making it a deadly combination. Unsuspecting users are dying because of this dangerous combination, thus worsening the nation’s epidemic of deaths caused by heroin overdose.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the potency of fentanyl is 30 to 50 times more than that of heroin and 80 to 100 times to morphine. The illicit form of this substance is added to heroin by drug dealers to increase the potency of the product.
Apart from heroin overdose deaths, Alabama is also seeing an increase in fentanyl overdoses. Prior to 2014, there were between 1 and 3 overdoses a year. In 2014, the number went up to 25; and so far in 2015, there have already been 41 overdose deaths already. Say no to drugs!