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Viral Videos Expose Nation's Heroin Epidemic

Mark Mandell, Esq.

More and more stories are in the news regarding heroin overdoses and opioid addiction. Just a few weeks ago in Ohio, a four-year-old boy was found in the back of an SUV with his grandmother and her friend, passed out from apparent heroin overdoses. Although no one was seriously injured in the matter, police are hoping to warn the public about the dangers of opioids.

The message seems to have not been received.

Monday afternoon, a couple was found unconscious on the sidewalk outside of Walgreens, where witnesses claim they "snorted some heroin." Again, a video was posted to make others aware of the situation and attempt to alert drug users about the severity of their addictions.

Across the United States, opioid related deaths rose from just over 4,000 in 1999 to just short of 19,000 in 2014. If users' deaths aren't enough to convince people there is a problem, maybe seeing children in danger will.

According to researchers, the proportion of babies in the United States suffering from withdrawal syndrome after exposure to heroin or other prescription opioids while in the womb has more than doubled in the last 10 years. When a mother uses or abuses drugs during pregnancy, the baby also becomes dependent on the same drug. Although treatments differ, some babies require dosages of similar drugs in small amounts to rid the effects of their withdrawals.

The heroin epidemic continues to grow in the United States. Hopefully, these internet videos will make strides in limiting opioid addiction.

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