Justin Burgy has a family member battling a heroin addiction and hopes to reach out to other families affected by the opioid crisis.
I never got into movies or shows about zombies. I always felt they were too far-fetched and boring. I do, however, know a lot of people who love them, including the popular show The Walking Dead. I even have conversations with them about a zombie apocalypse happening. I would always tell them that I think aliens coming down is a much more possible outcome (but I'll save that for another article).
While I always believed that, the past couple of years are starting to change my mind. I'm starting to feel as if we're in the midst of one happening right now! I believe this heroin epidemic that began to spike in 2011 might just be a type of zombie apocalypse. I know that might sound strange to you, but hear me out.
The New Walking Dead?
Have you ever seen a heroin addict or someone who has overdosed on the drug? They have this look that they call "the thousand-yard stare." If you have ever seen this look, you know exactly what I'm referring to. It is almost like they are not even there.
I, like a lot of people nowadays, have a very close loved one who is an addict! I live in the state of Ohio, and we seem to be taking this epidemic real hard. When I first heard about heroin becoming bad again, I thought, How stupid could these people be? I mean, we all learned how bad this drug was our whole life. My brother (who is the addict) and I literally watched at least a dozen movies about heroin addiction when we were growing up. So, we obviously knew how bad it was.
Note about the above graphs: I know these graphs are from 2015, but the trend is holding steady.
My Theory on the New Heroin Crisis
I have a theory about why this is taking place. First, let me assure you that I'm in no way a conspiracy theorist. I mean, sure, 9/11 had a lot of coincidence and things that seem downright suspicious, but my line of thinking is more of a governmental necessity.
As the population continues to climb every year at an alarming rate, what is the government supposed to do, knowing that we won't have the resources to last forever? In my opinion, they know they need to thin out some people in order to survive, and what better way than letting some weak-minded individuals do it themselves?
Less Is More—Except for Oxys
In the year 1995, the government approved the drug oxycotin for a new pain reliever. In 1996, this drug hit the market, and these doctors and patients thought it was a wonder drug. It helped so well with pain that they were prescribing it for back pains and other non-hospice types of pains. This opioid drug contains the same opiate as Vicodin, Percocet, morphine, and heroin, just in different quantities. Most people know most pain relievers come from the opium plant. What most don't know is how much of the opium the drug they are getting has in it—oxycotin (or oxys) being one of them.
With oxys being so strong and nobody really knowing it or at least not telling us, passing them out like candy probably wasn't the best idea. Now, with so many people taking oxys and becoming dependent on them, the drug companies and doctors started to realize that they probably weren't such a good idea and started pulling back supplying them to patients. With them pulling back means access begins to become a problem, which makes the prices climb. With so many people now addicted to the opioid and not having the money or resources to get oxys, they start to look for alternatives.
That's why I believe heroin is making such a strong comeback. Given the pain and agony these people go through being dependent on these drugs, it's no wonder they turn to heroin. My brother personally told me this is how he started. He wasn't prescribed oxys like so many others, but he got addicted just as well. He had a dependency on prescription drugs, and when he could not afford them, he said he tried heroin. "One time," he said, "that's all I was going to do until I got money for my pills. It was like a black hole and I just could not get back out of it!"
How Convenient Is Too Convenient?
To be clear, I'm not sure the government had any part in all of this. As I see it, though, it is awfully convenient that this drug is taking so many lives without much of a fight. I mean, how is all this heroin getting in this country? Good luck bringing anything other than your cellphone through an airport nowadays, but somehow they manage to smuggle pounds of heroin through there! Then, they come out with narcan to combat the overdoses, and all of a sudden a new mix of heroin that has fentanyl and is 100x stronger appears, which renders the narcan useless. I don't know about you, but I don't know many backyard scientists capable of coming up with this new mixture.
I read where they believe the rise in the heroin epidemic is coming from the crackdown on prescription pain pills. I thought that might be the case until I remembered my brother telling me about not having the money for pills. I also remembered being offered weekly (by people I hardly knew) if I wanted some sort of pill they were selling.
So, I decided to look up the overdoses of heroin and prescription pills (see the graphs above). While heroin has been on a severe climb on overdoses, prescription opioids stayed basically the same for the last number of years. Which tells me that their crackdown might not be working as well as they thought, or that it was one big illusion to distract the rest of us.
Will There Be a Pandora's Box?
I don't know what the outcome of all this will be. Maybe they clean up this whole mess and my article looks silly. As we stand now, though, these numbers continue to climb, and every night on the news I hear stories of how someone overdosed and wrecked their car, or how a couple overdosed with their kids in the backseat of a car, or how my brother brought some girl straight from rehab to my mother's house and overdosed in the attic!
I've been told I have a big heart, and it's true. I want to help all types of people in this world, and I'm in the process of going back to school for psychology—not only to better my family and kids, but mostly to help people that can't help themselves. The reason I'm saying all of this to you is that this drug is so powerful and leaves these people so helpless. Sometimes, you almost feel like it would be better if they just overdosed. As hard as that is to say, especially about my brother who was always my best friend, it's harder to watch what he has done to all the people around him and who loved him!
You're Not Alone
I want to reach out and let others who are battling this problem know they're not alone. There are so many fighting this epidemic, and it closes them off—whether they are the addicts or the family or friend. It secludes you, and even though you need help, you're too embarrassed to ask for it. My family knows this all too well and how it can tear apart the ones you love. I don't want to get in too much detail about the struggles, because that's not what this article is about. I do, however, want as many people as I can reach to know that I know what you're going through, and my best advice that I know of right now is: Don't enable them. If you want to talk, comment below or message me on Facebook; I will listen and help as much as I can.
Take care, and I hope to share more later. Please remember: These are only my opinions.