President Donald Trump recently compared the 1960s with today’s opioid epidemic ravaging the United States and said that the drug problem in those days was nothing compared to the present situation. The current drug scenario in the U.S. is catastrophic, which he has termed as “carnage.” The spike in drug overdose cases is unprecedented, something never witnessed in the past. Whether it is heroin and methamphetamine confiscation along the Mexican border, a spurt in cocaine use or the opioid epidemic crippling the nation, the drug situation in the country is undoubtedly perilous. It is an emergency-like situation, with overdose deaths crossing 60,000 per year.
The President said that he, along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has decided to crack the whip to control the onslaught of the drug mayhem and the related violence. The proliferation of illegal drug use could lead to increased violence rate in the country. However, there are no stats to prove this.
Drug problem real, but violence is coming down
Surprisingly, despite the soaring drug overdoses, fatal and non-fatal, and seizures of illegal narcotics in several U.S. cities, the incidence of violence has scaled down. For instance, 2016 saw a sharp decline in homicide cases in Houston, Atlanta and Los Angeles – generally considered as hubs for drug dealings. In New York City, there were close to 1,400 fatal overdoses in 2016, a record of sorts. Although the city is a safe haven for heroin and fentanyl mongers, with widespread addiction to these substances, the police recorded just 290 homicides in the same year. Surprisingly, it is lowest since 1951, and a huge drop of 87 percent from 1990, the year when 2,245 killings took place.
These recent crime statistics corroborate the claims made by the President. Los Angeles, which is also known as the nucleus for cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, saw a dip of 6 percent in homicide cases in 2017, whereas in Los Angeles County it dropped by 20 percent. Houston, Chicago and Washington also witnessed a double-digit drop in homicide cases in 2016. Violence in these cities is otherwise overwhelming.
According to criminologists, this reduction in crime rate can be attributed to the use of smartphones. With the advent of these devices, it has become easy for drug dealers to do business. They are now capable of controlling their business from a remote location and have the freedom of choosing to not confront the hostile police force. These gadgets also allow them to use GPS mapping, to communicate in encrypted language and a reduced need to control urban dens physically.
Homicides in the U.S. peaked during the 80s and 90s when there was a rampant abuse of crack cocaine. But with the reduction in these drug uses, the violence also dropped. However, after witnessing the lowest homicides in 2014, it suddenly jumped again in 2015-16, and this is when the Trump administration took it seriously. However, the current situation is under control, courtesy stern measures taken by the administration and better policing.
Dealing with drug addiction
Although drug addiction does not commensurate with the crime rates, it is still a lethal problem for America. Chronic and severe addiction can be fatal, if not treated at the earliest. However, with intervention at the right juncture, one can gain long-term sobriety.
Sovereign Health provides holistic and comprehensive treatment programs for drug addiction. If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs and you are scouting for one of the best drug addiction treatment centers, call our 24/7 helpline members for quick assistance. You can even chat online with our representatives for relevant information about our drug addiction treatment programs.