Thanks for the perspective. I guess every area is different. I'm coming at it from an area where statistically sewerage monitoring has indicated we have some of the highest Meth use per-capita documented across the globe. We had Heroin back in the 80's, and it is resurging somewhat here particularly with fentanyl (as mentioned by others in the thread). The biggest issue with Meth vs Heroin is the psychosis and resulting violence. Opiate abusers just don't get dragged into the ER and try to beat nurses to death. We've been dealing with opiates for so long the health system adapted to cope fairly effectively. Things like mine workers spending a couple of weeks in Bali on their swing, being met at the airport by their dealers and ODing in the car park outside. Their dealer just rolls them out of the car and takes off leaving the airport to deal with the issue. They've recently (like in the last 6 months) leagalized and facilitated the supply of Narcan kits at pharmacies to try and take some of the load off the health system. Time will tell if it makes a measurable difference. Unfortunately no such treatment for a Meth bender. By no means am I trying to minimise the effects of Heroin, but I've met many recovered addicts who've managed to stay clean and have had no long term health issues caused by years of opiate abuse. I can't say the same for Meth unfortunately. Being in the security game, I get exposed to what is happening in ERs across the state and Meth has the highest impact on health care by diverting resources away from everyone else who needs treatment (which sounds like what Heroin is doing up your way). I'll qualify that by saying my experience is local to my state (which is 8 times the size of Texas) in Australia, so it's always going to be different to what you see. Either way, without either drug (and any substitutes/replacements) we'd all be better off. Having said that, the overall health implications of both don't add up to the damage (both short and long term) caused by Alcohol abuse, but that's another ball of wax entirely.
Originally Posted By: Mantooth
I work in the public safety field for a large department. When I first started my career (many moons ago), crack cocaine was the big thing on the streets. A few years later, meth moved to town and we started seeing all the stationary and mobile labs pop up. I also witnessed the quick decline of people who became addicted and suffered the health consequences. While meth was in town, we also saw a spike in prescription drug abuse. Then heroin hit! I have never witnessed something put a strain on a system like heroin. Police, EMS and hospital ERs have been over taxed with the additional calls for service in dealing with heroin. Our EMS response times have soared simply because our trucks are constantly tied up with herion ODs. There are officers who have administered multiple narcan doses in a single shift and they have also saved the same person from ODing numerous times. Our crime rate has spike as well. Locally, we are one track for a record number of homicides. The PD has restructured twice in the past few years just to deal with the increase. By no means I'm I trying to minimize the effects of meth, I've seen it and its bad. With heroin, I have never seen something rock the streets like it has.