The Reality No One Wants To Admit About Heroin Addiction

How does anyone overcome an addiction? One has to admit there is a problem. Following that admission, a major stumbling block for many recovering addicts is admitting the problem’s depth, enablers, and root causes. Some addicts think they can fix it by moving, but all they achieve is geographic sobriety. The root causes and broken circuits are not being fixed. We have that nationwide with heroin right now. We are too sick as a nation to admit what the root causes are. Our media cannot even be honest with us because to do so would be to frighten the population. The sickest men sprout the oddest symptoms.

A small city in Ohio had a weekend of overdoses. Not one or two, but when it was all said and done, over ten with three dead. Subsequent reports in the following week put the overdose number at twenty-seven. This is a city under 40,000 in population, so the numbers look terrible for one weekend, and especially for one twenty-four hour period. Despite Marion’s longstanding problems with heroin, the week long spike in overdoses is related to a new product. This heroin is laced with fentanyl, which is 15-20x stronger than heroin. This caught the heroin users by surprise. Now law enforcement is racing against the clock to track where that fentanyl-laced heroin may have spread.

A slight tangent, but the fentanyl lacing is not as odd as it sounds. This bad batch of heroin is supposedly just laced with heroin. It comes from Detroit, which had a fentaynl laced heroin rash of deaths earlier this year. Mexican drug units found a way to synthesize fentanyl, and since it is so potent, they would cut the fentanyl with any white powdery substance for a “drug” that looked like fine China heroin, but might not be actual heroin.

Several years back, heroin-fentanyl overdoses were a huge problem in Detroit. Mixes became purely fentanyl cut with any powder from GNC that would mimic the visual signals of real heroin if tested by distributors. There was absolutely no heroin in some batches. In reality, why transport, smuggle, and sell heroin when fentanyl can be synthesized? Detroit is a regional hub for heroin, just like Baltimore, and services this small Ohio town with its outbreaks. There is a price for allowing cities of massive size to shrink, decline and go feral. Detroit being a heroin hub will not make the mainstream media “Detroit is back, baby” fluff pieces.

A weekend of overdoses would scare any small city, and that small city’s media would respond. Like any small media outlet, the locals were hunting for the perfect story to generate sympathy and get more money for them programs. The media needs to massage public opinion so that the folks at home do not see just another overdose or just another dead junkie. They found it in the overdose death of Bailey Witzel. She has a Facebook page still up where you can see her face that looks tired but still has the baby fat of a teenager. She looks younger than 19. She had a toddler, so this is human interest catnip for the press, but they are not going to tell you the whole story.

The blurb by the Marion Star is made up of interviews with users or recovering users who were in Witzel’s life. That is how widespread the heroin community is there. It’s not just you, but your social circle that gravitates towards heroin. The only people a user knows, who are not fellow users, are the members of the criminal justice and social services systems that organize his or her life. I’m just going to pull some lines the outlet wants you to read and generate some sympathetic “feels,” and then discuss the wider story.

– Witzel’s mother: “She did get to spend Mother’s Day with her daughter, her wish.”

– “(Faith) was the one thing she was trying very hard to get clean for,” said Jessica Davis, a friend of the family. “But she had a lot of pain and depression.”

– Witzel’s mother: “Bailey loved just hanging out and being with her daughter, being with her nephew,” Blanton said. “Bailey loved life in general, loved her daughter more than anything. … She loved her daughter more than life itself.”

– Marion County Children Services had removed Faith from Bailey’s care. Her brother said she was working to get clean and regain custody.

– Her friend: “But I just don’t think that she had the resources, and I don’t think she knew how. She was so young.”

– Her brother: “She went to Foundations (Recovery Center), she was going to meetings and everything she could.”

– “When she did get the opportunity to go to treatment, she gave it her all,” her friend Davis said. “She really did. And she was focused on coming out of there a better person, a better mother.”

This post is not meant to poke fun at these people. The spread of heroin is serious stuff, and has worked its way into every little town in America. Imagine if the flood of heroin that started in 2002 had the distribution network of marijuana in 2002? There would be needles everywhere and a million dead. With +20K overdoses a year out of maybe 1 million users tops, the die-off rate is rather high now. We will never fix this problem, though, if our human interest stories are going to romanticize choices individuals make. This is not too different from the media’s use of the housing crisis to paint human interest stories for whatever political changes they wanted. Let’s look further.

1. She loved being a mom, she was an awesome mom, she was a great auntie. No mom can ever be criticized. Look above at the quotes; Witzel loved her daughter more than anything, was a “good mom,” and wanted to be a great mom. Note that Marion County Children Services had stripped Bailey of her daughter. They took her kid away because she was a heroin addict. This isn’t a Hall of Fame mom. Good moms don’t have their toddlers taken from them.

2. The opportunity for treatment, going to meetings, doing everything she could. She was ordered by the legal system to go into treatment this winter. The Ohio Drug Courts are special courts for drug offenders, and get people to go to treatment by giving them the option of treatment and probation or jail and probation. Go ahead and call Foundations (her rehab center) right now. Ask if she stayed for the entire treatment period or if she left treatment early. She left early. That’s how she spent Mother’s Day with her child. Even though she left treatment and had the opportunity to be with her child, she felt a greater pull to use heroin.

3. While you are on the phone with Foundations, ask them who spent time talking her into leaving. If you have drug urinalysis equipment, why not take a urine sample from Witzel’s mom, Bobbi Blanton, and tell me what shows up? If you get her mom alone for an interview, ask her if she uses, ask her if she used with her daughter, ask her when, sorry, if she introduced the drug to her daughter at age 11. Maybe you could ask a reporter who was at the vigil for Witzel what dear old mom said about shooting up, and what he said he would not put in any story. The public does not need to know everything–only what the reporter deems pertinent to generate “feels”.

4. Resources. This “good mom” left treatment and had a warrant out for her arrest for violating the terms of her probation. Authorities looked for her. She could not be found. She spent her time away from treatment getting high and died. She was not giving it everything she could. Forget Foundations, call her probation officer and the Drug Court judge.

5. She was young and did not have the resources. She dealt with pain and depression. She was 19. Might be some good questions to ask her mom about that pain; what was Witzel’s childhood was like? As far as resources, who do you think paid for her treatment? For her kid? You, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer. What do you think her Medicaid status was? Who did she talk to multiple times a week per the terms of her probation? Before her overdose, there was a network of government employees (criminal justice and social services) and taxpayer money that were propping her up and delaying what has come to pass.

6. More resources. Your money pays for worse enabling. Vivtrol blocks the ability to process heroin, and many people arrested for heroin use end up using it if ordered by the courts. That is $1000 a shot. You, of course, pay for that. Narcan is a nasal spray that can help stop an OD from becoming a death. Your local police department and fire station have doses of it. You pay for that. Those medications could not help Witzel, but they saved a life or two in Marion that weekend.

Witzel’s story is a common back story for the younger addicts. Call Foundations, her probation officer, or the Drug Court judge and ask. These young addicts’ social services or criminal justice case files have enough overlap to reveal that a potential heroin addict is out there in your extended circle of friends. If you know an addict of any sort, you could have predicted these unmentioned details. A broken home, parents who are sleazy, government intervention, and no one wanting to admit reality.

The social decay and rot is multigenerational now. There are reasons the show “Intervention” was a reality hit besides human zoo voyeurism of people drunk and high acting crazy on camera. Everyone has known an addict, and the story is the same. There is a trigger, there is a person people love who runs down a dark path, and there is a network of people who want them to change but have difficulty realizing they contribute to the problem.

The news will not mention any of this. Instead we get a reporter asking family members softball questions for boilerplate answers for a puff piece. These types of pieces are a paint-by-numbers routine that no one will ever learn from, but everyone will feel a little sympathy for a dead young mother. “She’s cute like my girl, her family cared for her, like I do; they didn’t want to see her die of an OD, just like me!” This spin, and these answers, are the junkie version of the ghetto “he dindu nuffin, he a good boy, he goin’ to church erry week” post-crime answers to media questions. No one ever wants to admit something that reduces their social status, and no one wants to admit that they are part of the problem.

“Addiction is a disease,” and the word disease is thrown around in that reporter’s article. What disease–heroin or modernity? What was she running from? Why was she escaping reality for hours in a heroin induced abyss? She was 19-years-old with a little baby. Why was the pull of heroin stronger than the joy so many young mothers speak of when discussing their little ones? Why was her kid not enough to stay clean? Why is her town ravaged by a drug that everyone knows is highly addictive and kills? What was so horrible about her town, her friends, her family, and life that she would die just because she had to get high? Why is her social circle littered with heroin addicts?

The system, as in government judicial structures, did not fail this young woman. The system actually tried to set her up for recovery and to get back with her kid. Modern America is an open air asylum and heroin is an escape. The local news does not want to admit it, but they will dutifully report on the bodies found dead in flophouses. The media just enables this farce to continue and reality to be denied.

It is easy to mock your friends on Faceborg with their Potemkin Village family posts, but their lie is a status-securing lie. Your friends are not abandoning their kids to shoot up for hours spent in a heroin induced stupor. Witzel’s family’s lie is much worse because while wanting to be open about her death, they still need to maintain a dangerous lie. Witzel was an addict, with a support network littered with addicts or recovering addicts. Her death, while tragic, is the residue of a broken society. Heroin is not a disease. Heroin has been around for decades, experiencing resurgences. Heroin’s 21st century renaissance is just a symptom of the empty promises of progressive America.

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14 Comments

  1. The disease/victim model of drug and alcohol abuse is not quite as bad or damaging as the victim model of criminality, but it’s in the same category. Social work was a way to employ lesbians and spinsters as social control wardens, and vex the sober and responsible. “Sivilzin”” the folks is a big, big business.

    Drug and alcohol abusers are really selfish assholes who care more about their personal comfort than the people around them.

    1. Mostly agree with you but some of those looking for personal comfort are pretty fucked up… most not their own doing. Yeah, it is all about choices but some people really have been dealt a bum hand.

      A lot of others play on that narrative for sympathy – they really are selfish assholes.

  2. Thorgeir Lawspeaker June 7, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    No mention of the deceased’s father (mom has different surname), or the father of her now motherless 1-year-old. Ohio gets mighty cold for grass huts…

  3. I’ve been exposed to heroin for the first time this spring, not it’s physical presence but by driving a co-worker (22 yo with no driver license) to work each morning. I pick him up near the methadone clinic to make his mother’s life easier.

    Parents divorced when he was 10 yo. Raised by his father (mother alcoholic but is now dry)who openly smoked pot in front of him and older brother. Father later introduced sons to snorting Percocet pills around the age of 16. Both sons quit school at 16.

    The father and older son receive SSI and are on methadone along with elder son’s girlfriend (they have a 2yo male child).

    The kid I work with has a few things going for him. He has no children and lives with the recovering mom and has a wealthy maternal uncle that helps out. The uncle takes him to mass every week and forces him to work on his property every weekend for compensation of all the things the kid has stolen and pawned. The kid is a hard worker, curious, and has a good sense of humor.

    The kid’s social circle is made up of people on methadone. I keep telling him he needs to become a shut-in for a year or two socially b/c hanging out with junkies, even recovering junkies, is no good. All they talk about is smack.

    The long term plan is for the kid to be weaned off of methadone by late Autumn and then enter a rehab clinic after Christmas or new year to coincide with the time of winter job layoff (kid is a mason tender or a laborer for bricklayers). Time will tell.

    I did not know that a methadone clinic was within 5 miles of my home. And I also learned that methadone users love Saturday because they receive a take home shot of the drug as the clinic is closed on Sunday. The users must have a little lock box for the Sunday dose and usually they take that dose almost immediately to receive a better buzz. But then they have nothing for Sunday and go through withdrawal until their Monday morning dose.

    Last Saturday I parked near the clinic and viewed the people entering for about 15 minutes. Only 2 blacks out of approx. 50 whites, lots of tattoos on both genders, women were overweight with exposed bra straps due to prevalence of tank tops and halter tops. A lot of the women were still in pyjamas and slippers, getting their methadone fix and then going back to bed.

    Most of these people would be better off dead. Mao Tse Tung was right about this subject.

    1. The Anti-Gnostic June 7, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      Most of these people would be better off dead. Mao Tse Tung was right about this subject.

      This is the reality no one wants to talk about: cheap calories have enabled the reproduction of millions of people incapable of living in an advanced economy.

    2. Methadone maintenance clinics are usually run-down and disreputable looking places. They do serve a purpose, and don’t need to turn into the scenes you described. There are a few methadone-to-abstinence clinics in the USA. I don’t know why that isn’t a more common paradigm; it is a better alternative than spending one’s life tethered to daily visits to an outpatient facility.

      I hope your co-worker succeeds in his efforts to recover. You are a good soul, to drive him to work every day. That sort of thing helps enormously! One can work and be a productive member of society while on methadone maintenance, but logistics are difficult. Also, methadone (and by implication, former heroin usage) is a source of shame. Your supportive behavior might be the crucial factor in turning your co-worker’s life around.

      Other countries, even very poor ones like Burma, have different attitudes about heroin addiction treatment and rehabilitation than the USA. I wrote about it a little, here: Forty days of food, shelter, prayer, Bible study and devotional singing

  4. A modern version of the Orwell’s “If there is hope, it lies with the proles”.

    Nixon’s silent majority, on whom every conservative secretly relies upon to take back the country ever four years, is either retired on a golf course in Florida or living on disability checks in an opiate induced stupor in the remnants of small town America.

  5. The author of this story and other commenters obviously have first hand or personal experience with the effects of drug addiction. In my younger days, I worked in social services and experienced these situations also. The media and its intended audience seem to have no understanding of drug addiction and negative lifestyle choices. These folks sit in their ivory towers and write sympathetic stories and lament the symptoms but have no concept of the causes. This blog post expertly dissects the real issue which is the moral decay of society. Why wouldn’t the birth of her own child steer her to the straight and narrow? A question of deep significance.

  6. How does anyone overcome an addiction?

    It just happens.

    http://www.hamsnetwork.org/neuroscience.pdf

  7. Ms. Blanton does have a rather “worn” appearance for a woman her age. Any evidence other than that, Landry?

    1. “Worn and wiry”.

      Certainly looks like a duck.

  8. I saw a Euro documentary with a heroin counselor in it. He said 90% of heroin users were abused as children. Most of them sexually. In one scene he talked to an addict on the street and asked “how old were you when you were molested?” and sure enough he had been. Similar situation with most of the addicts I’ve known.

    I wonder how open the rehab authorities are about this information.

    Most families with a molester in them (who likely hasn’t been turned in) are so twisted up in denial and guilt, I can see why it’s almost impossible to unravel a dope habit with that sort of dysfunction in the family. Getting the family sober enough to even confront the deeper issue of why the kid is a dope fiend — especially when many families are comprised of never-married, impulsive / low-IQ people.

    Solutions: mandatory familial abused therapy if you want your kid to go to rehab instead of federal prison, death sentences for heroin dealers, or a US-military open war on mexican cartels. Or the liberal idea of supplying users with clean heroin (aka sweeping the abuse and the problem under the rug).

    Check out the new documentary “Narco Cultura” to see how drug dealing and murder are being glorified by Mexican thugs in LA and Mexico

  9. The reason why people are drawn to heroin is that it kills pain…most often, psychological pain. Addicts come from dysfunctional backgrounds where the adults tasked with caring for them were carrying their own pain…and not living up to the responsibilities of a parent. Societies can create the conditions for failure, parental irresponsibility and the destruction of personal efforts by people to advance themselves in the world.
    One understanding that few people possess is that you can create a pain racked personality simply by depriving a child at a critically young age of one of its care givers. Children that young just can’t handle the absences…the withdrawal of nurture. You can try to substitute the nurture of a grandparent. But that works less well than one might suppose.
    The “Great Society” program of the 1960’s has proved to be nothing but counterproductive foolishness. It was a pacification measure introduced during a time when American cities were going up in flames. Maybe, the more foolish members of Congress voted for it as an honest effort to improve the lives of black Americans. But others saw it more correctly as a repeat of the efforts to pacify the “Indian Problem” of an earlier century. Give them food and blankets and tell them to go home and cease their struggles. In time a sort of demoralization sets in, the men lose status as bread-winners and are soon gone from the households. The children suffer the departure of the fathers and all the pain associated with this un-natural way of living. Alcohol use skyrockets as a way to kill the pain of all this chaos.

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