Is Heroin Considered a Threat to the People of Puerto Rico?
Heroin poses a significant threat to Puerto and was the most widely used substance on the island before the hurricane. After Hurricane Maria, the damage prevented drug traffickers from smuggling the drug into the island. However, pharmaceutical fentanyl is made in Puerto Rico and has gradually replaced heroin, but as to 2019 the abuse of heroin has been increasing. The abuse of heroin is a problem in the territory because of the pure South American heroin being smuggled into the island. There are over 3.3 million people living in Puerto Rico and it is estimated that around 60,000 people are using intravenous drugs.
Within Puerto Rico, there is a high rate of HIV with roughly 42% of cases caused by injection drug use. Close to 70% of hospital admissions are related to heroin overdose. Recovery efforts after the hurricane have been the main priority, and combatting the drug problem has not been at the top of the list. Heroin abuse coupled with the use of fentanyl has been making the opioid problem much worse within the territory. As of 2019 there have been over 40 fentanyl-related deaths and over 75 suspected cases in Puerto Rico. However, the local government does not properly track the number of deaths because of opioids due to financial constraints.
Heroin is a dangerous drug and a heroin addict requires proper help and treatment. Heroin addicts will need detox and inpatient treatment to effectively treat the addiction. Heroin addiction does become worse, and an addict will not be able to successfully overcome his or her addiction without proper counseling or treatment. Heroin addiction in Puerto Rico is affecting people from all over the island. There are drug treatment programs on the island that will help. Drug Rehab Services can help addicts and their families find the right type of treatment they need for their addiction.