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Media Disinformation and the US Heroin Epidemic
By Dr. Meryl Nass
Posted February 2, 2016

NY Times gets it wrongThe New York Times gets it all wrong. The solutions being touted by politicians and the media include “working together:” police, citizens, and health-care facilities–though to what end is unclear; educating; reducing the stigma of heroin use (now that users are predominantly white and middle class we can relabel addiction a disease, not a crime); adding treatment facilities; and adding more police.

I call this salutary–but almost entirely missing the mark.

Overdose deaths and heroin users are at an all time high in the United States. Between 2 and 9 of every thousand Americans (0.2-0.9% of the population) is currently using heroin. In Maine, 8% of babies are born “drug-affected”–a stratospheric rise from 178 babies in 2006 to 995 babies in fiscal 2015. Despite what you have heard, the cause of our current heroin epidemic is not as simple as doctors overprescribing narcotics. More…