Law enforcement has their hands full in battling the onslaught of heroin use across the United States. In my weekly dealings with law enforcement officials who are on the street, they are frustrated in the approach of dealing with users of these drugs. Here’s the top two things they discuss:
- The drug itself is manipulated with other powerful drugs like fentanyl, it makes this new epidemic the worse compared to other heroin surges in the past.
- Heroin supply needs to be stopped at the U.S./Mexican border. Cut the supply and let junkies start drying up. LEO’s I talked to are now constantly running across Mexican drug cartel members even here in the Midwest.
- LEO’s are not medical personnel. Many departments are adopting NARCAN shots and officers don’t like it. They are seeing the same junkies being revived, then put right back out on the street and start using again. Criminals know how to play the system.
This isn’t to say LEO’s are not sympathetic to people strung out on heroin. They are. But they also know how powerful this drug is today compared to many years ago. People outside law enforcement will advocate for “treatment” but this drug is so devastating that treatment is powerless. One person told me they had a close friend go to rehab for heroin use at the best drug treatment facility. Counselors there said total sobriety from heroin stands at only 20%. This number was confirmed in an article from the Indianapolis Star on heroin use:
Historically, addiction has been treated like an acute disease, in which the person is stabilized, detoxed and then dispatched to a 12-step group or the equivalent, Manlove said. Only about 15 to 20 percent of those who enter such groups wind up staying.
The low sobriety rates do not mean society cannot try to save heroin addicts. Hopefully on the medical side a drug can be made to help battle the addiction. Advocating just treatment alone is not the best avenue while ignoring what LEO’s on the ground are seeing. Unfortunately, treatment is the only thing being talked about.