It seems that the nation's heartland has not escaped the heroin epidemic currently gripping much of the United States. The health commissioner in Milwaukee has declared heroin abuse a public health crisis, after the county saw a 34 percent increase in heroin-related deaths between 2012 and 2013. Wisconsin Public Radio reports that such deaths have gone up 600 percent in the last 10 years.
Officials recently discussed the crisis at a regional symposium titled "Heroin: Not on Our Watch — Protecting Our Communities." Recovered addict Kacie Wolfgram shared her story, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She told how she went from legal prescription drug use to illegal heroin abuse. At one point, she was raped during a drug deal and contracted a sexually transmitted disease, jeopardizing her chance of having children.
"For me, I just wanted it over," she said, as reported by the Journal Sentinel. "I really wanted that happy family and those beautiful babies."
The problem is not limited to the state's largest city. According to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab, the number of heroin cases processed has steadily increased in nearly every county in the state over the last three years.
Anyone, from any socioeconomic group or background, can be at risk of developing a heroin addiction. Many people now turn to heroin after suffering trauma and/or becoming dependent on prescription drugs. At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we believe drug addiction treatment must involve a dual diagnosis that addresses underlying psychological issues as well as chemical addictions.
If you notice a change in behavior in a loved one that you believe is connected with drug use, we urge you to contact Fairwinds Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida. We can discuss your situation and provide you with information about inpatient and outpatient options.