Heroin: The Monster's Grip Home And Away
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Health and Wellness

Heroin: The Monster's Grip Home And Away

A personal realization of how the heroin issue in our country can be found in the biggest and smallest places.

Heroin: The Monster's Grip Home And Away
Washington Post, Studio shot

The Monster’s first strike: Once I began high school, I started watching the evening news with my parents. It kept me informed of the issues and events going on in my state and in the world. I grew up in a small New Jersey town and I realized how easy it was to become distanced from what was going on beyond my bubble-like community of about 5,000 people. I saw a lot of local news stories about how heroin has spiked all throughout the state. New Jersey is apparently undergoing a heroin epidemic.

The Monster’s second strike: When I came to Baltimore to attend Loyola University, I did not know much about the city. At night in my dorm room, I began watching the news and it truly opened my eyes to certain issues in Maryland and in the city of Baltimore. Heroin made headlines in many of the news stories. I left my small town and entered this new city, and even with the vast differences between the two, I could not believe how the one thing they had in common was heroin. The heroin problem is huge and I now realize how it can be found in all places, big and small. This frightening realization brings to light how everyone is vulnerable since the monster, heroin, can be found anywhere, ready to lure in anyone it can.

The heroin problem is no longer a criminal issue but, instead, a public health issue. This smarter approach brings into consideration that addiction is a disease of the brain. The health industry has made amazing advancements in treating mental health issues so I am confident that through treatment and other approaches, the heroin problem will be reduced. Another opportunity that can help combat the drug issue is through community-based programs. I feel that nothing is stronger than communities coming together and working towards the greater good for themselves. Knowing that there is support from those around you is a very important as well as a moving force.

The title of Baltimore being the heroin capital has tainted the city’s image. I know that Baltimore is much more than this label. During my freshman year, I went to my first baseball game in Camden Yards and tried crab for the first time at a restaurant along the Inner Harbor. Baltimore is a city full of charm, hope, and has a wonderful community of people with many diverse interests. I believe that a way to begin to control the drug problem is for city residents to recognize that we are a united community and that this issue does not define us. I am anxious to see what strides are made while I continue studying at Loyola University and I believe that change is a definite possibility. I am hopeful that when I see changes in the city, I will be able to bring them back with me to my hometown. Of course it may be difficult comparing solutions in an urban environment to a suburban environment, but I am sure that any solution will inspire other communities to follow in similar steps toward positive change.

The monster can try to linger, but together as a united community, an army of people can defeat it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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