Baltimore achieved notoriety in the last decade by being featured in the TV show The Wire. It's a city that's seen both tremendous growth and decline in the past several decades, as well as an exponential rise in crime and drug addiction.
Baltimore used to be known as the "Charm City," but there’s nothing charming about the fact that it’s #1 for heroin usage in America.
The poverty level for Baltimore is much higher than for the United States as a whole. The city's rate of poverty is slightly more than 25%, which drives many citizens into the drug trade. More than 60,000 people in Baltimore are addicted to drugs. What's more, statistics suggest that 1 in 10 Baltimore residents is addicted to heroin.
The poverty, crime, and drug trade are all taking their toll on Baltimore. As of 2014, the city had the 5th highest murder rate in the entire United States.
Where Does Baltimore's Heroin Epidemic Come From?
The surge in poverty and crime is definitely a contributing factor to Baltimore's woes. There are other factors at work as well:
Prescription Pill Addiction
Prescription painkillers like Percocet, Vicodin, OxyContin are opioids-just like heroin. What happens when somebody can't afford prescription painkillers anymore? In many cases, they turn to heroin as a cheaper high.
Baltimore was established in 1706 as a central port for the tobacco trade. It’s still centrally located, being an easy and quick stopover for drug dealers and distributors moving their product up and down the East Coast.
Whatever the contributing factors, Baltimore has the highest per capita heroin usage rate in the United States. Recently Gov. Larry Hogan called a state of emergency in Maryland, in response to fatal heroin overdoses increasing by 88%.
Fighting Addiction With Rehab
Most addiction experts agree that the best remedy for fighting drug addiction is not more police presence, or stiffer penalties for drug users. Instead, rehab offers the best way out for people who are hooked on heroin.