Celebrities and popular culture in society have glamorized the deadly drug heroin today.
The status of heroin in America today is that the drug is "in." Advertisements in magazines and television are displaying gaunt, extremely thin, glassy-eyed, pale faced models. This look of death is often found in Calvin Klein ads or even in Packard-Bell commercials. For over three decades now, powerful role models from music to movies have taken to heroin like pigs take to slop. The drug continues to be portrayed in a favorable light by the fashion, music, and entertainment industries. Mixed messages about heroin are everywhere from raccoon eyed models to songs such as "Heroin Girl" by Everclear. Rock musicians have created and celebrated a culture of heroin, and some have become role models in their death.
The use of heroin is increasing in almost every part of the United States. All age groups are all over the drug, including high school and middle school students. What doesn't help is that the availability of heroin has increased as well. New sources and networks of distribution have been reported. The comeback of heroin is not only apparent in the inner cities; it has been making its way to suburban life as well.
Another way to tell that the use of heroin is on the rise is by the number of emergency room visits that deal with heroin users. In 1990 there was 33,000 emergency department visits nationally where heroin use was involved. By the year 1995 the number had more than doubled to 76,000. In the mid-1980's about ten percent of patient population was identified as being IV drug users. Now, the number is up to about twenty percent. (Source # 4, Gabor Kelen, Professor of Emergency Medicine in the School of Medicine and director of Hopkins Emergency room).
What are the causes of this heroin obsession? Some say it could Hollywood's apparent fascination with the drug. Heroin has been a theme in several recent movies....