[Lou Reed, Nico and the Velvet Underground, 1966.)
The New York Times: Parents of heroin addicts are urging a kindler, gentler drug war.
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The Centers for Disease Control released a report today, "Vital Signs: Demographic and Substance Use Trends Among Heroin Users — United States, 2002–2013." The press release is here.
It finds increased heroin use, particularly among users of pain pills and cocaine, and increased heroin-related deaths.
Predictably, the report calls for more restrictions on pain pills. The U.S. always gets it backwards when it comes to drugs.
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The Associated Press has an interesting article on Mexico's recent surge of poppy growing and production of heroin.
The heroin trade is a losing prospect for everyone except the Mexican cartels, who have found a new way to make money in the face of falling cocaine consumption and marijuana legalization in the United States. Once smaller-scale producers of low-grade black tar, Mexican drug traffickers are now refining opium paste into high-grade white heroin and flooding the world's largest market for illegal drugs, using the distribution routes they built for marijuana and cocaine.
Heroin use in the U.S. has risen alongside the crackdown on pain pills. With the pills becoming so controlled and expensive, people have turned to heroin. The U.S. has fewer meth labs since the restrictions on pseudoephedrine were ushered in. But people didn't stop using meth, the production just shifted to Mexico, and the finished product is now shipped here in larger quantities to accommodate demand. [More...]
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Since the sad death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is still prominent in the news, bringing with it the predictable wave of hysteria over heroin use and clamors for more restrictions on pain pills, I will use the opportunity to point out the futility of using our criminal laws as a response to heroin addiction, and the origins of heroin. [More..]
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