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Much as one thinks of Las Vegas when the State of Nevada is mentioned, so, too, do people tend to automatically think of New York City when thinking about the State of New York. While it is true that New York City does make up a very large part of the State, there are actually some parts of New York that are considered rural areas.


Unfortunately, when it comes to substance abuse, New York City sees much of that "action," for want of a better word. And according to statements made a survey of substance abuse addiction in New York, many sellers, especially of cocaine, go about their business in rather bold ways. According to the survey, the bulk of cocaine distribution happens at a retail level. This includes not only street sales, but sales that are generated from bars or small grocery stores (sometimes called "bodegas").

Further, some, but not all, of the courier services that operate in New York City are delivering packages just like others, but the contents are much different than, say, corporate documents or supplies. Rather, it is cocaine that is being delivered to office buildings, and in some instances, private residences.

For all the "openness" as it applies to cocaine sales, however, the survey of 305,594 New York residents, from which the above information was taken, showed that cocaine use, both smoked and taken in by other method, such as injection or inhalation was not as prevalent as heroin use. Even with the figures in the two columns devoted to cocaine combined, heroin use was still higher. Only 41,716 people admitted to cocaine use (again, these are combined figures from two columns), whereas 56,704 admitted to heroin use.

Any type of substance abuse can be dangerous, but when the method of administration (how the drug is taken into the body) is injection, as it so often is with heroin, this can increase the danger level. Most of the time when heroin is injected, it is done so directly into a vein. This means that the drug is taken into the body much faster than by other methods, and starts taking effect more rapidly.

This means it can reach the heart faster, and one of the effects of heroin use can be accelerated heartbeat. If a person who is taking heroin already has heart problems, or the heart has been damaged as a result of substance abuse, this can cause the heart to actually go into spasms, which can result in death.

Further, those New York residents who inject heroin often do not use clean needles each time. They may share with other heroin users, or may even pick up discarded needles from the ground or other places, and use them, with no idea of who may have done so before, and what diseases the former user may have had.

For these and other reasons, New York residents who have heroin addiction may have to go into an in-patient treatment facility for their drug rehabilitation. Specifically, they may have to choose or be admitted to a clinic that can provide medical care as well as counseling and other aspects of the rehabilitation program.

Intravenous drug use can lead to contracting communicable diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. If this is the case, and a patient has already been diagnosed with one or both of these conditions, in-patient treatment may be necessary in order to assure that the patient continues to receive the necessary medications for his illnesses as well as drug rehabilitation treatment.

Even if a person does not have a communicable disease, but does have an underlying physical problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure, heroin use can cause these diseases to worsen, especially if a patient had been previously diagnosed and was being treated, but was not taking the medication properly due to the heroin addiction. In-patient treatment can help the patient get back on a routine of taking medications as they should be so that the physical condition can have a chance of improving.

http://www.justice.gov/ndic/pubs2/2580/heroin.htm
http://www.oasas.state.ny.us/

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