A Columbia professor who uses heroin says the drug helps him maintain a work-life balance and should be legal for everyone. So he says!
Carl Hart says he first tried heroin six or seven years ago.
At the time, he was already a tenured professor at Columbia University and “well over 40,” according to his new book, “Drug Use for Grown Ups.”
After doing that “short, thin line” with a friend, he said, he felt “a dreamy light sedation, free of stress.”
He added that the two chatted, laughed, “called it an evening, and went home.”
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Wikipedia
Three Waves of Opioid Overdose Deaths
From 1999–2019, nearly 500,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids1.
This rise in opioid overdose deaths can be outlined in three distinct waves.
- The first wave began with increased prescribing of opioids in the 1990s, with overdose deaths involving prescription opioids (natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone) increasing since at least 19993.
- The second wave began in 2010, with rapid increases in overdose deaths involving heroin4.
- The third wave began in 2013, with significant increases in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, particularly those involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl5,6,7. The market for illicitly manufactured fentanyl continues to change, and it can be found in combination with heroin, counterfeit pills, and cocaine.8
Many opioid-involved overdose deaths also include other drugs9.10.
- Rudd RA, Paulozzi LJ, Bauer MJ, Burleson RW, Carlson RE, Dao D, Davis JW, Dudek J, Eichler BA, Fernandes JC, Fondario A. Increases in heroin overdose deaths—28 states, 2010 to 2012.MMWR MorbMortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Oct 3; 63(39):849.
- Gladden RM, Martinez P, Seth P. Fentanyl law enforcement submissions and increases in synthetic opioid-involved overdose deaths—27 states, 2013–2014. MMWR MorbMortal Wkly Rep. 2016; 65:837–43.
- O’Donnell JK, Gladden RM, Seth P. Trends in deaths involving heroin and synthetic opioids excluding methadone, and law enforcement drug product reports, by census region—United States, 2006–2015. MMWR MorbMortal Wkly Rep. 2017; 66:897–903.
CDC: Heroin Leads the Way in Drug Overdose Deaths
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Heroin Overdose Deaths Dramatically Increase in United States
Data-Sharing Initiative Targets U.S. Drug Overdose Crisis
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Massachusetts hospitals try to stem overdose deaths
The rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States continues to grow at an alarming rate, with heroin leading the way, according to a new CDC report.
The findings of the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics show that overdose deaths have reached crisis levels. The percentage of heroin deaths spiked from 8% in 2010 to 25% in 2015. Prescription opioid deaths decreased in the same time period, from 29% to 24%. Total drug overdose deaths rose from 6.1 per 100,000 in 1999 to 16.3 per 100,000 in 2015.
Adults aged 55-64 saw the greatest increase in overdose deaths (4.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 21.8 in 2015), and the 45-54 group had the highest percentage of deaths in 2015 (30 per 100,000). West Virginia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Ohio lead the country in overdose death rates.
The CDC researchers did not speculate as to what may be driving the overdose deaths. Past research has shown that those addicted to prescription opioids may turn to heroin as a cheaper alternative.
Other findings include the following:
Men overdosed at a higher rate than women — 20.8 per 100,000 in 2015 vs. 11.8 per 110,000, respectively.
Non-Hispanic whites have the highest overdose rates, nearly quadrupling from 1999-2015. Whites had 21.1 deaths per 100,000 in 2015, versus 12.2 for non-Hispanic blacks and 7.7 for Hispanics.
Cocaine overdose deaths increased from 11% in 2010 to 13% in 2015.
Deaths involving psychostimulants such as methamphetamine doubled in the same five-year period, from 5% to 11%.
Twenty-one states have age-adjusted overdose death rates higher than the national average of 16.3 per 100,000, with West Virginia leading the country at 41.5. Nebraska, at 6.9, is the lowest.
The opioid epidemic has taken center stage as a public health crisis. In 2016, Congress passed bills that released more than $1.5 billion to states to fight opioid addiction, including greater access to treatment programs and the opioid overdose-reversing drug, naloxone. The Surgeon General’s report on addiction found that persons with substance abuse disorder outpaced those with cancer, and urged greater access to treatment. The CDC released safe opioid prescribing guidelines for patients with chronic pain. And the governor of Virginia declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, granting standing naloxone prescriptions for all of the state’s residents.
How Can I Stay Sober?
Long Term Chemical and Emotional Sobriety
Medication Assisted Treatment
Virtual Behavioral Care
Long term sobriety requires both chemical and emotional sobriety. Get Off Drugs Columbia and eHome Counseling’s program combines the latest long duration medication assisted treatment with online video counseling services to achieve both chemical and emotional sobriety. It removes the barriers many people face when seeking treatment, with minimal impact on work or family time, and the ability to have counseling sessions confidentially on your smartphone, tablet or computer.