Heroin In the Heartland: 60 Minutes Special
Heroin In the Heartland was a 60 minutes special that aired on January 24, 2016. It is about the biggest drug epidemic to date which is due to heroin. The segment talks about the heroin problem in Ohio, but can be easily seen in most other states across the nation.
Heroin In the Heartland was eye opening. This article aims to summarize the segment and give you some options if you suspect a loved one is hooked on heroin.
Heroin In the Heartland : Summarizing 60 Minutes.
The main point of the segment was to open the viewer’s eyes about this epidemic. The conventional thought process is that heroin is an inner-city problem, but the reality is that dealers are “going where the money is”.
The money is in the suburbs across the United States. The new consumers are people you wouldn’t expect: High school students, college athletes, teachers and doctors. Anyone can be a heroin addict.
The 60 Minutes reporter, Bill Whitaker, sat down with Hannah Morris who is now in college, to talk to her about her experience with Heroin. She lives in an upper middle class neighborhood in Ohio where the median income is 87,000/year. Before she was hooked on Heroin, Hannah experimented with other drugs.
Starting with weed, she went on to acquire good weed, then pills like Xanax, Percocet, Vicodin, and then began smoking Heroin at only 15 years old. She still remembers that first high, describing her happiness at a 26 on a scale of 1-10. The heroin was so addictive that her and friends went from smoking it, to shooting it up during High School hours at school in the bathroom.
Jenna Morrison is another girl interviewed whose heroin addiction started with legal opiates, prescription pain pills. She began experimenting with prescription pain pills when she was only 16 and quickly became hooked on heroin at age 18.
She claims she did not realize that heroin and pain pills contained the same ingredient, opium. Jenna began experimenting with prescription pain pills the same way most high school students do. By being bored. Because she lives in a small town and there was nothing else to do, the older people she was hanging out with were doing drugs to have fun.
Mike DeWine, the Attorney General of Ohio, claims that Heroin is in every single county in Ohio. It is that pervasive. He claims there is no place in Ohio where you cannot get heroin delivered within 15 minutes. Hannah Morris, the girl we introduced above, said that heroin is easier to get than weed or other drugs like cocaine.
Dealers are also getting smarter about packaging heroin to outwit law enforcement. They are pressing heroin into tablets now to make them appear like prescription pills.
Mike DeWine said one of the major problems is that heroin has lost its stigma as a poisonous back-alley drug. He is quoted by saying, “There is no psychological barrier anymore that stops a young person or an older person from taking heroin”. He goes on to say, "There is no typical person". The main takeaway from him was that no one is immune to heroin anymore.
Tyler Campbell was a high school football star that went on to play division 1 football. He got addicted to heroin after a shoulder surgery had him taking a legal opiate pain killer, Vicodin, prescribed legally.
His parents claim that a typical prescription for him was 60 pills. Its easy to sell these pills that are so much in demand that one pill can cost up to $80. Most pill addicts switch to heroin because it is cheaper and gives them a bigger high. Tyler was in and out of rehab 4 times, but ultimately ended up passing of a heroin overdose.
His parents said the quarterback of Tyler's football team passed away 4 months after Tyler of a heroin overdose as well.
Heroin In The Heartland continues into a group therapy session with 5 couples who have children that are addicts or lost children to heroin overdoses.
Most of the children started with prescription pain pills and ended up addicted. Unable to afford the pain pills, they switched to the cheaper alternative, heroin. Most of the overdoses were surprises to the parents because their children appeared to have beaten the addiction through inpatient drug rehab programs.
One parent describes that her daughter passed away the day after St. Patrick’s Day. Her daughter updated her Facebook status on St. Patrick’s day by saying “no partying for me, not even a single drink, I am staying in and working”. The next day she passed away of an overdose.
Tracy Morrison, mother of Jenna Morrison (introduced above), is a Nurse who said that the medical profession must bare some responsible for the heroin epidemic because doctors over-prescribe pain medication.
She said she graduated in 80s and was a Nursing director when the medical community swung the pendulum from not treating pain to treating everybody’s pain and at that time she “had no idea they were addicting people".
Tracy’s daughter Jenna is now 25 and has been to rehab 17 times and was locked up 6 or 7 times. She would go to jail, then to inpatient drug rehab, come home and relapse then back to jail.
She owes her life to Narcan, administered to her after an overdose. Narcan works by reversing the effects of opiates in the brain and is now available without a prescription which will help to save lives. Families and health professionals are now being taught how to administer Narcan.
The Heroin In The Heartland 60 minutes segment closes by focusing on the parent’s message. The parents had no idea that their children were addicted and feel guilty about missing all the signs.
They would have never thought that their children would be doing heroin. They were embarrassed and in shock, but the struggle was the stigma with having heroin in their town.
Heroin takes the lives of 23 people every week in Ohio. Never say “not my child” because it very well could be your child and “you never want to get that call”.
What Can You Do? A Palo Recovery Opinion.
You cannot prevent everything bad from happening to you, but you can make and attempt to let your children know you care. You should become more involved in your child’s life. Ask them about prior drug use and look at who they are hanging out with. Develop a deeper bond with your kid by taking them out more and getting to know them.
Life is busy and a lot of parents fail to get involved with their children’s social lives. You can also look for signs of drug use in your house, missing spoons, weird behavior, etc. If you suspect your child is using, then have a conversation with them and try to get them into rehab quickly.