There's a Heroin Epidemic in Miami-Dade, According to Government Research

Categories: Drugs

heroin.JPG
Hendrike via Wikimedia Commons
By all accounts, it seemed like 2013 was the year of Molly. Newspapers across the country published alarmist reports about the popular party drug, which -- to no one's surprise -- often turns out to be a mix of amphetamines and bath salts. But if a recently released report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse is to be believed, there's a much more insidious substance taking over Miami-Dade. According to the federal government research institute, there's a heroin epidemic in South Florida.

Prior to 2011, Floridians were easily able to obtain synthetic heroin from pain clinics that dispensed Oxycodone like candy. Sketchy doctors were so prevalent here that state was nicknamed "the Oxy Express." After a crackdown, regular ol' heroin use rose sharply, and then rose sharply again in 2012.

See also: Miami's Molly Is Full of Meth, Coke, Bath Salts, and Other Terrible Stuff, Playboy Reports

"It's the rapid escalation that's disturbing," James N. Hall, the study's author, told the Miami Herald. "This is the mother of all addictions, related to so much destruction and so many serious consequences, particularly death, most of which are preventable. To declare it an epidemic is a public-health responsibility."

Shutting down the Oxy Express caused a simple economic dilemma. Supply went way down, so prices soared through the roof. Addicts switched to the street stuff because it was cheaper and easier to obtain. Hall also told the Herald that Mexican white heroin flooded the state around the same time, which was as cheap as $10 a baggie.

Although we won't know how many people OD'ed from heroin until that data is released in summer, the prognosis doesn't look good. The number of smack related deaths jumped from 15 in 2011 to 33 in 2012 -- a full 120 percent.

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

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58 comments
Steve Klare
Steve Klare

same issues in Northern. Kentucky Cincinnati Area.

Crystal Anglero
Crystal Anglero

He has a lot of prejudice!! But I know what you meant... ;) unlike many I have great comprehension skills....

Heather Rogerson
Heather Rogerson

Killed my father James G. Camp and he was a middle class working man. You don't watch the news? Politicians are smoking crack doctors are shooting Heroin ....like you it has no prejudice

Crystal Anglero
Crystal Anglero

Heroin is awful.... It is a horrible man created destroyer of lives... those that were strong enough to kick that habit should be very proud of themselves.

Crystal Anglero
Crystal Anglero

At James G. Camp, so apparently Justin Bieber is all of the "potheads" music of choice?! Woooow... Smh btw, children with special needs are also born to people who have never done drugs!!! People like you are so condescending and self righteous. How about pulling your head out of your ass and actually educate yourself before you comment! Smdh... Prick!!!

Heather Rogerson
Heather Rogerson

Gonzalo del Barrio people into pills usually start crushing and injecting for a better rush . Be surprised

Heather Rogerson
Heather Rogerson

James G. Camp he was also drinking prescription Codeine cough syrup! Which is disgusting. Little codeine in it have to drink a lot. Classy rich boy. That's the new gansta drink sizzurp . Heroine is huge in Massachusetts . Sad it destroys families and lives.

Samir Vasquez
Samir Vasquez

Sounds like you need to smoke a joint James.

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Love it, the pot heads come out thumping their chests about how their abuse is a lesser evil. Not a peep though, their hero Justin Beiber failed sobriety tests, not because of how much he drank, but because he was stoned. Doesn't matter what you abuse, the rest of us have to deal with the aftermath of it. And once the human genetic pool is polluted, those defects compound with the crack babies they bring into the world. Do I need to go on ? Decades ago, special needs was retardation, we had to find softer descriptors so as to not offend the drug abusers that perpetuate it. Hey, but America's better for it aren't we ?

Gonzalo del Barrio
Gonzalo del Barrio

That has to be sub culture of drug abusers because not too many people are willing to inject themselves in the vein for a high

Lucas Krupinski
Lucas Krupinski

The law of unintended consequences strikes again. You take a state that is awash in oxy's and everything else, then suddenly make them inaccessible; what do legislators expect would occur?

MyCole Knight
MyCole Knight

I just read the article, and the only opinion I have on the matter was eloquently dictated by the Geto Boyz's hit "Feels Good to be a Gangsta" in the following lyric: "...So every now and then I owe a favor gettin' down like lettin' a big drug shipment through And send 'em to the poor community So we can bust you know who So voters of the world keep supportin' me..." Epidemic? HA! That's a great euphemism. The connotation on that word, boy.

Kon Janco
Kon Janco

The harder the drug...the better techno sounds. H-house

Anastasia Biltmore
Anastasia Biltmore

Part of what has boomed the heroin industry from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach is that all those pain clinics that were operating in Broward like a opiate addict's Disneyland started jacking their prices due to clinics being closed and greater risk of police/govt involvement. Heroin is WAY cheaper than paying for those pain clinic doctor visits and their "proprietary" pricing at their dispensaries. When you allow "legal" drug dealers to set up shop, and then run them out or shift their cost curve, addicts/enthusiasts will just look for cheaper alternatives. This isn't rocket science.

anon
anon

The Spoils of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade Washington's Hidden Agenda: Restore the Drug Trade

Tommy2000
Tommy2000

The big increase in heroin in the U.S. is coming from Mexico. That is why there is a spike.....not because of some stupid CIA plot in Afghanistan. Fact, Obama has been weak on this. And yes, addicts have also been sourcing heroin as a substitute for the prescription pills they can not as readily acquire.

Ken Neth
Ken Neth

Afghanistan is a CIA drug farm.

Carlos Cnotez Rodriguez
Carlos Cnotez Rodriguez

oh wow... a HEROIN epidemic?? say it aint so... SO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME PPL THAT ARE TAKING THESE PRESCRIPTIONS OXYCOTONS(THAT HAVE HEROIN IN THEM) ARE GETTING ADDICTED AND LOOKIN FOR STREET VERSIONS TO GET THEM BY??GOD BLESS THE US AND...

Turo Olvera
Turo Olvera

Well what do you expect when you give addictive substances prescribed by doctors and they run out?

tbak105secure
tbak105secure

I find it suspicious that since the invasion of Afghanistan that the majority of Heroin coming into the U.S comes from Afghanistan.

Terry St Angelo
Terry St Angelo

So people are horrified of heroin but not of cocaine which has been Miami's drug of choice like forever - interesting

Holly Villa
Holly Villa

That's because people that were addicted to pills no longer can afford or get them. Sooo sad it has turned to this. If no one ever realized how bad people were using/abusing oxycodone, than you were very naive. Sad but true

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

....................oh the humanity !

MIAMI is and always was and always will be a DRUG based culture = period

not that this isn't happeneing in VERMONT and elsewhere it's just that MIAMI doesn't have the brightest bulbs in the pack nor is anything really important happening here to be concerned with - as long as the yokels can SCREW THE TOURISTs with faux restaurants and $45 drinks and predatory towing and corrupt elected officials protect these scams then all is well in MIAMI

MIAMI jumped the shark back with the invasion of MARIELITOs

Nigel Nmnm
Nigel Nmnm

The only drug that I've ever seen in my life is weed, nothing else. Once at a bar, a girl asked me if I liked to ski. I went on for about 30 minutes, on how I loved to ski and snowboard. Turns out, she wasn't talking about winter sports. I'm still cool in my mind, though.

Mick Espinel
Mick Espinel

There is a "stupid" epidemic out there. Dumb people with no will or self respect doing dumb things.

Reuben DeOro
Reuben DeOro

Fuckin disgusting. As if everyone addicted on Oxy & Xanax isn't bad enough.

Ryan Johnny Thayil
Ryan Johnny Thayil

Don't you guys know what happened to Christopher in the sopranos?! STAY OFF THE H

Brittany Janes
Brittany Janes

Matt Cooney, scratch adderall and cocaine, heroin it is!

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@tbak105secure @frankd4 


.................not that there's anything wrong with this


MIAMIs drug "problem" is that MIAMI is a very poor city


Beverly Hills, Scarsdale, Aspen all have drugs pervasive in those places except THEY CAN AFFORD IT - so they don't have a problem


drug 'problems" are when one becomes a user and canNOT afford to SUSTAIN that lifestyle 


otherwise a powerball lotto winner can do all the drugs their body can withstand because all the bills are paid - otherwise the drug use really becomes a "problem" financially

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