Outlaw Heroin! It Now Kills More People than Guns!

(Photo: Washington Post)

(Photo: Washington Post)

Outlaw heroin! It now kills more people than guns!

Oh wait, you mean to tell me that there is already a ban on heroin? Oh. wait, and drug dealers and drug users are still selling/using heroin despite the ban? So, bans don’t work? Is that what you’re saying?

Okay, you see the obvious parallel here. Despite the War on Drugs and state and federal laws criminalizing the possession, use, distribution, transport, etc. of heroin, drug cartels are still finding ways to disseminate heroin into the U.S. at what appear to be record levels.

So, by the same logic, what would a universal gun ban accomplish? Would it stop gangs and drug dealers from obtaining firearms? Heck no. It would only disarm the law-abiding gun owners.

The takeaway is that so long as there is a strong demand for something, there will be someone willing to supply it. On that note, troubling statistics from the CDC, released Thursday, indicate that more people died from heroin-related causes than from gun homicides in 2015.

(Photo: Washington Post)

(Photo: Washington Post)

In total, there were 12,989 heroin deaths in 2015 compared with 12,979 gun homicides. Overall, opioid-related deaths surged to over 30,000 last year, up nearly 5,000 from 2014.

“The epidemic of deaths involving opioids continues to worsen,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement. “Prescription opioid misuse and use of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl are intertwined and deeply troubling problems.”

Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate that is 40 to 50 times more potent than street-level heroin, seems to be the main culprit driving up the death tool. Ingesting even a very small amount through the skin can be deadly.  Watch the video below for more details.

As mentioned, since there is already a ban in place (that clearly isn’t working), lawmakers are turning to alternative measures to address the problem.

“The prescription opioid and heroin epidemic continues to devastate communities and families across the country—in large part because too many people still do not get effective substance use disorder treatment,” said Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy, in a statement. “That is why the President has called since February for $1 billion in new funding to expand access to treatment.”

The question is why won’t gun-grabbers learn from the failed War on Drugs? Bans or supply-side approaches don’t work! They never will. To address the issue of drugs and crime you must address the individuals who are at-risk of doing drugs and committing crimes.

On that note, check out this article: A Real Solution to Gun-Related Violence? Programs Targeting ‘Key Offenders’ Show Promise.  It shows that we must stop focusing on the item and start focusing on the criminals who use or misuse it.

(Photo: Washington Post)

(Photo: Washington Post)

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Andrew N. December 16, 2016, 1:24 pm

    The only problem with this whole scenario is the same problem with gun control. Those of you who are young/healthy/uninjured can scream from the hilltops “We don’t need this stuff” or in gun control’s case, “Who needs an assault rifle?” I can answer that for you. Me, and a bunch of other people who did too much to our bodies at a young age. While in the U.S. Navy, I was that guy who would do anything to get the job done, and I did. I was abnormally strong, so guess who they called for any lifting issues…Yup, me. The end result is that as a young man I did a lot of damage to myself that I could “shrug off” and control the pain with Motrin. Those days ended about 18 years ago when they took away my Motrin (due to kidney damage from prolonged use) along with the increase in pain associated with getting older. I have had 15 major surgeries to date, and I quit counting the minor ones. There is two options to control the pain- opioids or blowing my brains out. I’ve tried Physical Therapy, Acupuncture, Yoga, Hypnosis, and every other possible way to control the pain, New Age and traditional medicine, so save your “answers” to how to deal with the pain, I have tried them all. The people who REALLY need opioids don’t abuse them. I have never taken more than my proscribed amount. I have never “ran out” of my meds. I haven’t tried crushing, snorting, smoking, or “shooting up” my meds. I take them only as prescribed. Do I go out and play football? No. In fact, simple chores like raking leaves takes a very serious toll, putting me in a recliner with ice packs for a day or two. You pick your battles carefully, as all have painful consequences. With the drugs I can live without constant debilitating pain, although I am NEVER pain-free. That’s a pipe dream anymore. Is there a problem with opioid addiction? Yes there is, just like there is with guns. Bad people do bad things, period. It’s easy to scream “do away with the cause” when you have no “skin” in the game. Better control, better doctors, and (my hope) better treatment options that help reduce the need for the drugs. Just remember, not every option works for every patient, and there has to be options available in those cases. The DEA is trying to get rid of all opiates, not just Fentanyl (which didn’t work for me anyway, but does for others I know) and that means people like me, who have done nothing wrong. Just like the gun grabbers, they want ALL of the “offensive product” gone. That’s a problem for me, as well as numerous other Vets and civilians with long term chronic pain. If they take away all opiates, our options are to use heroin we get off the street, or end our lives, neither a choice I want to make. The parallel to gun control is almost frightening, appealing to those who don’t use the product, scare them with some statistics, and use their ignorance to further your cause. Please don’t buy into it.

    • Irish-7 December 17, 2016, 1:20 am

      EXCELLENT, Andrew! I am in a similar situation, broken from the military. For me, it was parachute landings and duty in the Airborne Infantry. I suffer from multiple painful spinal conditions and have been taking narcotic medications daily for the past 15 years. I make the same analogy with the failed ideology of gun control. Recent government efforts to end prescription drug abuse should be geared toward the criminals using opiates for recreational purposes, NOT the legitimate chronic pain patients! This is the exact same foolish mentality that disarms law abiding folks because of nefarious actions on the part of violent predators.

    • Tom Horn December 18, 2016, 6:08 am

      Andrew and Irish,

      You have brought up a subject that most folks are not aware of. It is getting harder for legitimate acute/chronic pain sufferers to get Rx pain relievers as doctors are chided by DEA, and others, to reduce the prescribing of opioid pain meds. I witnessed this first hand, as an RN, when my hospice patients would have difficulty getting pain relief because an ignorant M.D. would be worried these dying patients would get addicted.

      My heart goes out to you both, and we all must fight this ignorance.

    • Brian Catron June 22, 2017, 3:20 am

      To whatever extent the DEA is trying to get rid of these pain medicines used legitimately, what is their rationale?

  • Johnny December 16, 2016, 11:59 am

    Yeah, that dope’s real bad stuff! Runs lives of the users and the loved ones around them that have to watch them kill themselves. Turns regular ole folks in to thieves, and eventually if desperate enough that theft to support a habit turns much more violent. I personally have lost many friends and loved ones to opiates, and no not just heroin and/or Fentynal. ANY & ALL opiates (narcotic prescription meds classified as opiates) have taken down someone I’ve known from your every day common Vicodin all the way up to Heroin, Fentynal, Morphine, you name it.

    Now, what gets me is the “outlook” on how and why people get hooked and eventually die or ruin their lives on these opiate based drugs. First off… it does not matter who you are (race, religion, income, background, you name it), in very little time an opiate can have you hooked and that’s when people start looking for these stronger opiates or synthetic opiates. Yes, dirty & heartless dealers have no problem making a buck off someone addicted to these drugs but, when I say “dealer” if all you’re picturing is a scary looking gangbanging dealer hiding in the alley making sales…it’s time for you to wake up! A good majority of the time, a person gets hooked by a “dealer” no one seems to wanna mention or talk about and that’s what I’m about to get in to. You’re “average dealer” who people generally get their first opiate “fix” from isn’t that scary guy you’re picturing hiding in the shadows. Nope, it’s that educated man/woman in a white coat you probably call Doctor! I said it to start, I know of many people who’ve fallen in to opiate addiction, and now as a 37yr old man I can honestly say if I had 10 friends addicted, 5-6 died, 2-3 are in prison and maybe a couple wishing they were dead living on the streets. Heck…I was one close to death, and did it happen because one day I woke up and thought to myself, “You know, I think I’ll try out herion today,” nope, not how it works. I was in a accident, broke a couple ribs, nearly had my thumb and finger totally ripped off, I was in pretty bad shape. I go to the hospital and what do they have me out the door in an hour with? A diagnoses, a stitched and bandaged hand…and prescription with 3 refills for Norco (like a Vicodin). They tell you to follow up in 2wks with your doctor…you do so, and leave with what? That’s right another prescription, all the refills you want. These doctors now a days are so quick to throw an opiate at a patient and send em out the door it’s disgusting.

    Now, I grew up in the era of “it’s from a doctor…it can’t hurt you” & we’d pop pills left and right whenever we could get em starting at 13-14yrs old. As dumb teenagers (kids!) we had no clue what we were even taking except for that it made you feel good, it didn’t smell like alcohol so, parents weren’t gonna ground us (or beat us! Lol), you could do it at school and no one would be the wiser and if you wanted more…go to the doctor with a “my back hurts, I’m getting migraines…I got chronic hang nail syndrome! (Lol)” and again, generally within 5-10min your out of the doctor’s office with a new prescription. And so much better than alcohol, marijuana, cocaine or any other street drug BECAUSE…that’s right you’re insurance pays for it! And “it can’t be bad because afterall…it’s from a doctor.” So in my mind the “dealers” we really need to come down on harder aren’t those that are already being arrested nightly but, those much larger dealers that where white coats and have MD or DDS at the end of their name. That’s one area no one seems to want to talk about and I just don’t get it.

    I remember watching last year’s Super Bowl and that’s when it really showed me how bad this epidemic has gotten. During the most expensive commercial spots of the year what’s one of the last ones before kick off, and during half time? A medication for Opiod Induced Constipation. That’s right, those opiates back ya up pretty bad. Now, a PSA would be nice but, instead the pharmaceutical companies pay millions for an ad that, in not so many words says, “You can’t poop because you’re an opiate addict? We’ll forget treatment, take this, you can remain an addict and just take our pill to so you can actually take a dump.” SERIOUSLY?!?! I was shocked they’d even make a pill for that and I guess for those who really truly need these opiate based meds that’s a help to them. BUT, does anyone really believe that’s who it was produced for? NOT AT ALL and that part disgusted me!

    To sum it up, in no way shape or form am I saying what was said in this article or video is incorrect but, I do believe there’s more going on than just Mexican drug cartels bringing this stuff in to the states. I do believe there’s more to the rising numbers of opiate addiction and deaths and I also wish I was given more accurate information as a kid as opposed to the rhetoric that we were taught back when I was younger. Misinformation might be more dangerous at times than no information. Again, I don’t dispute anything stated at the core, it is bad bad stuff. However, as someone who’s seen all the different sides of this problem, as an individual who’s lost as many good friends and family members to this class of drug AND last but, certainly not least as an addict who’s been in recovery (sober) for 10yrs 7mo and 6 days (but, who’s counting😉), somoeone who after a decade of sobriety is still fighting each and every day, to this day once a month having to go in to a 2hr appt with a specialist due to all the physical damage those pills did I feel it part of my “duty” to add in my (we’ll call it) extra 2¢ on a subject I have experienced first hand. I cannot, not add in what I witnessed, lived thru (luckily!), and still see misinformation or, lack of information in regards to.

    So again, no I don’t disagree I just KNOW there’s much more to this problem then we really get to hear about. And those “white coat dealers” as I’ve named them…I don’t know who’s worse, the nickel and dime street dealers who addicts are going to find no matter what or, the “White Coat Dealers” who you put your trust in to keep you healthy that’ll throw a presciption at you before you can even ask for it. And that’s not an exaggeration. I can’t tell you how many doctors offices helped me keep my addiction going with insurance paying for my “dope,” to the point that to this day I can still remember 4-5 doctors’ offices I’ve been to where before they know any reason for my visit, they walk in with a prescription pad and simply say, “what do you want today?” Once sober and dead set on staying that way, I still came across those docs and although every day I turn on the news and see or hear about an arrest of a street dealer selling whatever they were caught with and the “White Coat dealers” just go in to their office and do the exact same thing…only cheaper as long as you’re insured.

    Black, white, rich, poor, religious or atheist, strong or weak willed…those opiates, pills that at one point almost all of us have been prescribed have no preference of who they take down and it (to me) was so so crazy how quickly they do grab ahold of a person and once they have a hold on said person, “just don’t take them anymore” isn’t exactly an option. And remember those pills you’re being prescribed and insurance covers except for a maybe $5 copay per month that will eventually catch up and flip your world upside and down and no, your insurance is not going to over the $25,000-$100,000 in treatment you’ll ultimately need to kick that addiction. And that’s only if you’re one of the lucky ones who makes it in to treatment before you end up in jail and/or 6ft deep. No winners here except for the doctors and pharmaceutical companies who know darn well what they’re doing and what hands their poison is ending up in.

    So in closing allow me to say: Hey Big Pharm…. F–K YOU! I WON MY WAR AGAINST YOUR POISON! In my book they’re the real criminals…just better dressed, driving in nicer cars, and no dark alleys just a nice little office you can google to find and a nice big sign so you know where to find them👎

  • Rick Pautsch December 16, 2016, 8:26 am

    There should be a spec ops process for getting rid of the gangs, Dead or alive. Get rid of them forever. They have become their own society and they keep bringing young kids into their fold. They have to be eliminated. Screw their civil rights. They need to cease to exist.

  • Gun/owner operater December 16, 2016, 7:06 am

    WE THE PEOPLE, SHOULD HAVE NEVER AGREED TO ANY TYPE OF “GUN BANS” IN THE FIRST PLACE.YHE SECOND AMENDMENT HAS BEEN INFRINGED UPON AND WE ALLOWED IT.TAKE OUR GUNS AND LEAVE THE LAW ABIDING DEFENSLESS WHILL CRIMINALS AND DRUG DEALERS STILL GOT THE BEST OF EVERYTHING AND FULL AUTO AT THAT..THEY CAN DEFENDD THEMSELVES FILTHY CROOKS WHILE ME AND MY FAMILY SRUGGLE TO KEEP UP WITH HIGH PRICES,AND SUPPLY AND DEMAND PROBLEMS THIS COUNTRYS WENT TO SH*T.AND WE ALLOWED IT! THE CONSTITUTION EXISTED BEFORE THERE WAS A UNITED STATES OF TAX AMERICA.THANKS FOR TRYING OBAMA,HITLERYYOU PEOPLE NEED TO THINK ABOUT US POOR FOLKS TRUYING TO KEEP OUR FAMILIES FROM THE EVILS OF THIS WORLD.AND GOVERNMENT FULL AUTO.ALL THEE AMMO AND RESOURCES AVAILABLE IF TYRANNY DID STRIKE ID LIKE TO THINK OUR G.I.s WOULD HAVE OUR BACKS AND NOT A BUNCH OF GUN GRABBING PENCIL PUSHERS GIVING THEM ORDERS TO TAKE OUR HARD EARNED DEFENSES.THEY WERE CIVILIAN ONCE TOO REMEMBER.I SHOULD HAVE RPG-7IN MY CLOSET IN CASE A TANK OR ARMORD,JUST WHATEVEVER I FEEL WE NEED IT FOR .IT SHOULD BE THERE,WITH FULL AUTO SELECTORS SWITCHES ON MY WEAPONS HAND GRENADES ETC.YOU GET THEE POINT.WE CANT DEFEND OURSELVES AGAINST A CORRUPT AND UNJUST GOV.COME ON MAN GET REAL.

    • Gun/owner operater December 16, 2016, 7:13 am

      And as FAr as the heroin just make it 100 PERCENT PURE THATLL FIX EM…DONT NEED FENTANYL IT WAS FINE THEY WANT THE DOPIES TO DIE DONT YOU GET IT.MY WIFES COUSIN ALMOST DIED THE OThER DAY.locked in the bathroom.maybe she shoulda,im sure daddys real proud now.he was paying for her treatment for last 3 years i think.she dont want belp she wants another fixx.a rubber bag.scum,but shes a perfect little angel,does no wrong.while my family gets it hard they bave it handed to them let them fuc**ng die!HALLELUJAH

  • Steve Day December 10, 2016, 7:57 pm

    How many use heroin to commit suicide? (Very, very few I would imagine.) Now deduct the suicides, which would just be carried out a different way if the chosen option was unavailable. Also, deduct self-defense shootings and officer-involved shootings (since gun-control never applies to LE). Now the graph will show heroin deaths surpassed gun-deaths years ago.

    Gangs are responsible for the vast majority of both heroin and non-suicidal deaths from shootings. If only the liberal-run cities would enact some Gang-Control laws!

  • Will Drider December 10, 2016, 12:35 pm

    Let them die. They are weak and a burden to society. Less druggies, less demand = less drug dealers. New volunteer druggies will die down the road. The collateral damage and violence will go with them.

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