What does Google News Say About Heroin? A lot. I know that in my home state of Tennessee, we are in the midst of a heroin epidemic. Use has skyrocketed and addiction is prevalent. Heroin is a dangerous drug, it is highly addictive, and is a poison to the mind and the body. I have been wondering about the rest of the country. Because I’m a marketing/pr person I read the news headlines every morning. In fact, thanks to the internet – I check the news headlines several times a day because they are updated with new stories sometimes by the minute. Plus, I’m new to this job and new to the addiction arena. It’s important that I understand the power of the media when it comes to the messages that are being communicated about drugs and alcohol. Since heroin is a big topic here in Tennessee, I decided to see what Google news would show me about heroin addiction in general. Today I did a Google news search. Simple search term – heroin drug addiction. I was curious about what news articles would pop up and what they would be about. I was shocked at the results. In the first two pages of results, NINE states had articles discussing their statewide heroin epidemic. The states represented in just the FIRST TWO pages of results were, New Jersey, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Iowa. The next two pages added New York, Maryland and Indiana. I also saw several articles from the UK, Australia and Afghanistan. These articles were just from the past two weeks. I know that if I went back, maybe to June or even May, that I’d find more states represented here. In fact, I know that I would find each state in our country talking about heroin in some way, shape or form. I know I would read headlines from each state about Heroin the street drug OR Heroin the pill form. That’s right, that Percocet pill bottle your doctor prescribed for you after your surgery? That’s Heroin. Really. Vicodin? That’s Heroin. Oxycontin. Fentanyl. Morphine. They are ALL Heroin. They just have different names. Probably your doctor should tell you, “Tom, I’m prescribing Heroin for your pain.” Then you’d know what you were dealing with. But instead, it’s called, Lortab. But I digress. Why was it so easy for me to find nationwide news articles about Heroin addiction? Why were the stories so plentiful? Because people are struggling. And they don’t know how to cope. So they turn to drugs. At first, opiates like Heroin and painkillers ease the mental struggle of the person taking them. The drug provides a means of escape for roughly 3 to 5 hours – depending on the dose. So for just 3 to 5 hours, a person feels like Heroin has rescued them from their personal battles. But Heroin isn’t 911. Heroin is not a soft place to fall. It’s not a mother who would do anything for you. Or a friend who will listen to you cry. Or even a doctor who is concerned about your health and wants to help you. No, Heroin is like a parasite. It steals from the body and mind eroding a person’s sense of what is real and what is imagined. Like a parasite – the more it takes from you – the more it needs. People who are dependent on heroin must use every six to 12 hours to avoid symptoms of heroin withdrawal. It’s not so easy to get Heroin because it’s illegal. One can’t just run to the local Walgreens and grab a bottle. So really, for an addict looking to avoid withdrawal symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, hallucinating, severe tremors and body aches – the search for the next high begins the moment they wake up and doesn’t end. Ever. Unless that person gets treatment. But most people who are on Heroin have given up and are so lost in their addiction they can’t see anything else. So who can help them? YOU. Family members. Friends. Bosses. Co-workers. Doctors. Lawyers. Social Workers. Pastors. A quick Google news search showed me that our country is in a Heroin crisis. And YOU can be a part of the solution. Let’s make it so that in a few years those headlines are few and far between. What if someday the headlines read, “Heroin Can’t Hurt Us Any Longer.” Or “Our State Beat Heroin Addiction.” And you can make that happen, people. Just pick up the phone. Thanks for reading and be safe, Julie
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