Community/Neighborhood

Eric Holder gets real about heroin and race: It’s a crisis because white people are hooked

“Chasing Heroin” is a riveting longform documentary feature, exploring how prescription painkillers like Oxycontin have directly led to a spike in injected heroin use. The number of people who have used heroin within a year has doubled from 2005 to 2012; the number of deaths due to heroin have quintupled in the past 10 years.

And most importantly, 90 percent of new heroin users are white, following what one expert calls the “heroin prep school” of prescription opiates. In America, heroin used to be linked to the “inner city,” with all the socioeconomic and racial implications that suggests. As heroin addiction has taken on a whiter, richer face, it’s become a cuddlier drug, one more likely to be responded to with help instead of force.

Politcians pay more attention to drugs when they begin to affect the white middle class. “It’s not fair, and it’s not right, but that’s the kinda country that we’re living in.”

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