Send email Mail Regardless of race, gender, age, or ethnicity, people across the United States are increasingly choosing death as the only way out. More people take their lives than those who die from opioid overdoses — but, with suicide there are no drug dealers to blame or people to throw in jail or punish with the death penalty as a scapegoat. This past week alone saw the high profile suicides of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. And, of course, greater awareness of mental illness.
Small cities, even rural towns face growing problems For many communities, the extent of heroin addiction comes as a shock. Yet efforts to confront it, including town-hall meetings and support groups, are slowly gaining ground.
January 25, By Richard Mertens Correspondent Chicago For years, heroin was considered an affliction mainly of poor urban neighborhoods. But these days, the drug is becoming popular in affluent suburbs, small cities, and even rural towns — especially among young people.
From Arizona to New Jerseymany communities that never imagined they would have a heroin problem now face a rising toll of addiction, overdoses, and even deaths. Take Tamara Olt and her husband, who were vacationing in Mexico last April when they got the call that every parent dreads.
How much do you know about marijuana? Take the quiz Joshua Olt died in the emergency room that evening. Olt, an obstetrician and gynecologist.
Concerned parents, school administrators, and law-enforcement officials are holding town-hall meetings, forming support groups, and starting campaigns to discourage heroin use. The US Drug Enforcement Administration says seizures of heroin have doubled sinceand arrests have risen by a third.
Most heroin comes from Asiabut more and more is arriving from South America and Mexico. Although heroin use has been expanding for a decade or more, many communities are just beginning to understand the extent of their own heroin problem.
In Will County, Ill. In Missouriheroin deaths increased from 69 in to in — more than half of them in the age group 15 to Louis Area NCADAwhich offers emergency counseling and other services, has seen a dramatic shift in heroin-related calls. Until recently, most came from middle-aged people in poor urban areas.
But four or five years ago, that changed. Init just seemed to explode. Only a quarter of 1 percent over the age of 12 said they had used heroin. But heroin raises additional concerns because, like other opiates, it is considered powerfully addictive and difficult to give up.
Moreover, heroin has become increasingly available in refined forms that can be sniffed or snorted. Many young people are introduced to heroin in a powder form but eventually switch to injections.
William Patrianakos is one of them. He had struggled with depression, he says, an drugs made him happy. Like many addicts, he entered treatment programs several times, only to return to heroin. He finally was arrested for counterfeiting and spent a year in a court-mandated drug program.
Even then he relapsed for three months before, he says, he finally quit heroin for good. Today Patrianakos, who is in his mids, works as a computer programmer, makes speeches about drugs, and works with support groups for parents whose children are struggling with addiction or have died from overdoses.
In many places, heroin is still a hidden problem because of the stigma attached to the drug, parents and drug experts say.
Kane-Willis of Roosevelt University. The response to such endeavors has often exceeded expectations. It ended up holding Organizations outside Missouri wanted advice, too. Recently, 11 high schools and middle schools in the Chicago area began teaching students about heroin using new educational materials from the Robert Crown Center for Health Education, a private organization in the Chicago suburbs.
Some parents recount desperate struggles to find help for their children. Patty DiRenzo of Blackwood, N. In and out of treatment, her son, Salvatore Marchesewas found dead of an overdose in his car in June Parents also complain that courts and hospitals are sometimes poorly prepared to deal with drug addiction.
Flazone-Capriola says her son was arrested several times while seeking help for addiction.A society wide problem needs a society wide solution. A national strategy can't be up to the mental health and emotional wellbeing sectors alone, because it will fail.
I remember one kid I had a problem with and my best friend who could beat the crap out of anyone in his grade and two high took care of that problem. It was all part of growing up. We learned to deal with it. Youth suicide has been a serious problem in many countries over the past four decades; with school counselors, school personnel, psychologists and social workers attempting to prevent, detect and secure assistance for the students.
What is wrong with our society? “It’s about mental illness” Telling a person they are “ill” for suffering or being sad serves to further alienate the individual, often results in the person feeling defective, and puts the problem inside the individual instead of recognizing that cultural and .
Scelfo notes that “the suicide rate among to year-olds has increased modestly but steadily” in recent years, from deaths per , people in to in Also rising. Leading Suicide Prevention Organization and Correctional Health Care Experts Partner to Address Rising National Suicide Rate. Suicide remains one of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States and, according to the U.S.
Department of Justice, it is the leading cause of death in jails.