Larry Lawton, Founder and President of the Reality Check Program, deals with young people and addiction on a daily basis.
The spread of heroin use is not exclusive to any socioeconomic demographic. What was traditionally viewed as an urban drug – confined to the streets and underpasses of major cities, has now made its way into the confines of small town communities across the country.
The rise of heroin use isn’t necessarily an anomaly. With the recent rise of prescription drug abuse, police and health providers are cracking down on the availability of pills. Oxycontin, one of the most popular of pharmaceutical opiates, has a street value of $80 for an 80-mg tablet and is becoming harder to obtain.
Because of the recent suppression, many addicts are circumventing this obstacle and choosing heroin instead. Unlike pharmaceutical opiates, though, which are created uniformly, the potency of heroin can vary.
In addition, many dealers are now diluting the drug with Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used to relieve chronic pain. The drug is known to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine – thus making the possibility of overdose even greater. According to studies conducted with active heroin users, many addicts are no longer forced to find drugs in the city. Dealers are now delivering their product right to the back doors of homes in all kinds of communities. White, Black, Hispanic, Rich, Poor, Middle-class, etc. It really doesn’t matter.
We really need to worry more about heroin, oxytcontin, synthetic cannabinoids and some of the more serious drugs than we do about marijuana. Heroin is rampant in the prison system and when a person gets released, he or she is still addicted, and the cycle continues. Let’s get these people real help.
It has been almost thirty years since the war on drugs and that is our biggest failure. A war that can never be won. We need education and experienced people to deliver the message. Cops need less tanks and guns and more community minded people.
My goal is to try and open the eyes of everyone and bring light to a serious subject. Addiction is a disease and we need to treat it, not arrested it. I am trying to help law enforcement see that helping the addict get clean is better for the community, law enforcement and the person. A win, win, win situation.
The “Us (the people) against Them (law enforcement)” has to stop. It seems to be getting worse. I challenge all law enforcement leaders to take the fist step. Reach out, there are people like myself who are willing to work to make the community a better place for ALL people. We don’t need robots, we need good people and good leadership.
Larry Lawton, is an author, motivational speaker, TV personality, honorary police officer and the founder and President of the Reality Check Program, Jewelry Robbery Prevention, and non-profit organization the Reality Check Foundation. Larry is the first ex-con ever to be recognized on the floor of the United States Congress for his work with young people and law enforcement.
Learn more about the Reality Check Program – CLICK HERE