Suffolk County: A Desperate Situation

The majority of the overdoses in the area can be attributed to the heroin and prescription pain killer epidemic that has been growing to epidemic proportions in the north east of the country. These drugs are part of the opioid class of drugs and are very easy to obtain and are highly addictive. Because of this police officers in the county have begun carrying the anti-opioid drug Narcan in intranasal spray form in the event they come across somebody overdosing in the line of duty. The drug is now being sold over the counter without a prescription. Narcan has helped save numerous lives in Suffolk County, but the overall number of overdoses continues to rise and all of the measures being taken by the county seem to be of no avail.

One of the largest contributing factors to the increase of overdoses is the rise in gang activity in Suffolk County. Even the smaller communities of the island are starting to see an increases in gang activity and gang violence. Gangs such as the Bloods and Crips set up shop from the surrounding urban areas of New Jersey and New York City and use smaller towns to help expand their drug network. Gang violence is believed to be the single largest cause of violent crime in the county. The demand for drugs brings this violence to innocent civilians who then half to find a way to live with it.

The raids on stash houses show just how much that drugs have invaded our community. One seizure last year turned up almost 3,000 grams of drugs such as powered cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, and prescription painkillers in addition to over $300,000 in drug money and illegal firearms. This is only the beginning of an initiative to crack down on drugs and drug dealers in Suffolk County, but it the battle is far from over. This seizure is only a small representation of the drug problem in Suffolk County.

Drug addiction often results in far more consequences than just the drugs, one of the biggest of which is the transmission of HIV. Since the reported number of incidences of intravenous drug use has gone up, so to has the totally number of HIV infections. The two most common ways that the virus is spread is by sexual contact with an infected person or by coming into contact with infected blood. Intravenous drug users have become the largest group of HIV-Positive people in the country. Drug addicts rarely factor this risk when engaging in unsafe practices like prostitution and sharing used needles, but it is a very real problem that is affecting a growing number of people.

Perhaps most startling is the number of younger people, below the age of 20, that have already begun to experiment with various drugs. The latest studies have shown that around 30% of all high school student have admitted to having had experimented with some sort of illicit drugs, including alcohol. Many of over the people surveyed well bellow the age of 15. This number has been growing and is consistent throughout the country from New York to California. Due to the increased availability of drugs on the street, it is can often be easier to buy hard drugs like crack cocaine and heroin then it is to purchase a beer.

According to the most recent surveys conducted amongst treatment centers, 80% of people that became addicted to heroin today, had become addicted to opioid pain killers prior to trying heroin. Prescription pain medication abuse has spiraled so far out of control that pain clinics have been dubbed “pill mills” due to the ease and accessibility to obtain the drugs from them. Despite being seen as less severe in the eyes of many, addiction to prescription pain medicine can be just as devastating as addiction to crack cocaine, heroin, and alcohol.

Addiction touches the lives of everybody, not just the user. Addiction robs the user of their identity, their dignity, and there will to live. Possibly nobody knows this more than the family of the addict or alcoholic. While living in active addiction, addicts are completely unaware of the devastation that they are causing to their loved ones. Addiction does not have to keep tearing families apart. Alcoholism and addiction can be stopped.

Long Island Addiction Resources was established to help the struggling addict or alcoholic end the destructive patterns that they have been living in and discover a whole new life for themselves. Drug addiction and alcoholism do not have to be fatal conditions and can be recovered from. We want to help all addicts of Long Island and Suffolk county to begin their journey of recovery. Recovery from addiction and alcoholism is more of a possibility than ever before. Contact us today and you can end the cycle today.