So it’s not clear exactly how many have died, but one report says “several” Western Pennsylvania people have died of overdoses of heroin in bags stamped “Piece of Mind.”
Narcan has saved at least another 15. Which, it’s about time Narcan is out there. It should be as easily available as condoms, IMO.
As in any story, I like to read the social media comments sections. One woman wrote,
Any person that could hand over these drugs to make a dollar should be dead themselves.
I’m pretty open about the fact that I’m recovering from addiction. What I talk less often about, because it’s not my life, is the fact that I come from a family pretty full of people with addiction. A few of us are in recovery. But a bunch of us are dead.
Here are the Pennsylvania people arrested so far.
They remind me of some of my cousins. When those cousins were still alive, of course. When they were alive, they were tricking, stealing, and also selling drugs.
You think people start out at 8 or 10 dreaming of looking like these dealers by 28 or 30—unhealthy, hard, haunted?
The reader writes,
Too many kids losing their lives. Too many kids losing their parents. How can we put a stop to this… I don’t care.. You get caught putting this on the street you need to be in jail for the rest of your life. Period.
You think all drug dealers aren’t parents?
You read the word “drug-dealer” and you think “kingpin”? As a friend pointed out to me, these are not the Drug Dealers who the DEA ought to be going after. These are the street-level folks who are basically heroin users selling a few bags on the side. Their main problem is addiction. “They are tortured souls,” my friend said. And they need treatment and a hell of a lot of support.
You think there are no people with addiction who are so sick they shoot up in front of their kids, teaching them how to do the same?
Putting a drug dealer away for life is depriving another kid of his or her parent. You may argue that the drug-dealer deserves it, but does the kid? Research shows that kids who grow up with incarcerated parents are more likely to become just like those parents, and/or to develop other serious health and social problems. These people in the mug shots probably grew up with parents who were mentally ill, addicted, incarcerated. The cycle repeats, unless we a a society stop it. We need to figure out a better solution that just killing them or sticking them in prison.
I can’t believe what society has came too
Well, hon, I can’t believe what society has came too, neither. What it has come to, according to you, is this: we should imprison for life people who straight-up sell heroin, but we should let off scott-free people who trick others into signing bad mortgages and deprive them of their life savings and blow the bottom out of the economy and cause the largest recession since 1929.
Also, what it has come to is this: we are finally admitting addiction is not just a low-class black-folks and white-trash problem. It’s not just in Washington and Johnstown. It’s in Pittsburgh. And in Pittsburgh it’s not just in Homewood and the Hill anymore. Although when it was, not too many people cared: another reader wrote,
They don’t make a big deal when it happen in North Philly. Y do they care when it happen in West Pa?
It’s in white upper-middle-class Upper St. Clair, too.
And even if you grow up white and “privileged” and go to college, you’re looking at a shitload of debt and a shrinking job-market for anyone not doing software or drone development. SUPER good times, this economy. It SUCKS, and the 1 percent is overjoyed because a lot of the 99 percent is so hoodwinked about the situation that they either don’t bother to vote or, if they vote, they actually support the people who are enacting policies that enable the yawning class gap.
The Narcan is working, but a lot of people in this society are not. And as Gabor Maté, Johann Hari, and a number of other people writing about addiction have pointed out, we don’t just need to detox “junkies” and send them on their ways—or even to put them on maintenance drugs—to solve the problem. We need to create a society where they actually have a chance of doing productive work for a living wage that pays for both their student loans and a place where they can keep their heads out of the rain.
Otherwise, cutting, bagging, stamping, and selling dope looks like a pretty damn good way of making a buck.
Richard Pryor: “They call it a ‘epidemic’ now. That means white folks are doin it.”
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