Why is heroin addiction an epidemic

Heroin epidemic in the US

In 2015, around 33,000 Americans died of an opiate drug overdose, of which around 13,000 were heroin addicts. This was confirmed by the American health authority CDC with a comprehensive study. At the same time, the agency drew a frightening comparison: for the first time in 2015, more people died from drugs than from firearms.

Corey has been one of the faces of this new epidemic for over six years. First he sniffed the substance, then he swallowed it and finally, like his friends, he began to inject: "For the first few months I said to myself that I'm not like them because I only sniff the heroin," recalls yourself Corey. "I never wanted to become a junkie. But suddenly it didn't really bang when I sniffed. It was only when I injected that I got the super high again - like the first time." During this time, Corey led a double life, hiding the addiction from his family. Playing hide-and-seek bothered him every day because he worked in his father's workshop, sometimes screwing on cars completely drunk, and actually only had the next shot in his head.

From drug addict to criminal

Sean O'Brien, now 30, comes from the white middle class and came into contact with drugs during high school. At first he and his friends bought pot, after a few months pain pills were added and finally he also tried heroin. It accompanied him for over a decade and made him someone he never wanted to be: "I didn't give a shit. I stole, injected, went to prison and was briefly in cold rehab. As soon as I got out, it just started again up front. A vicious circle. "

When he thinks about his drug past, he realizes how his life got completely off track after the first injection: "Addiction makes you a different person. You no longer have scruples, heroin makes you angry, you become inconsiderate and are alone Fixated on getting the material, "explains Sean, who was made criminal by heroin and later made homeless.

Get clean or die

For Corey and Sean, it was ultimately the fate of their friends that shook them up after many years of addiction and showed them up close how they too could end up at some point: "I went to dozens of funerals, saw many of my friends die," says Sean. which after ten years of ups and downs finally got through to long-term therapy.

Corey also knew that sooner or later his addiction would leave a victim that would break his family's heart. He found help from them: "I told my parents about my addiction when I couldn't take it anymore. They supported me and I started therapy." The two young men were mentored by drug advisor Mike Gimbel, who himself looks back on a turbulent heroin past and has been clean for over 40 years: "Heroin is one of the hardest drugs of all because it consumes your soul. If you are addicted, you only have one Chance: get clean or die. "