Heroin In High Places Essay

Submitted By Vince-Burkhart
Words: 709
Pages: 3

Heroin in High Places

We live in a society today that practically worships celebrities. Yet some of those in the public spotlight are less than perfect role models, especially to our nation’s youth. In fact, some of these people live their respective lives out of the spotlight in such a manner that would probably make the average citizen wary to associate with them if they were just the average Joe. Yet when their dirty laundry is aired by the mass media it regularly seems to have the opposite effect. The LA Times reported that health officials believe that more than 660,000 American used heroin in 2012, nearly double the figure from five years earlier, reflecting a surge in the drug’s use that mirrors its popularity of the 1970s and ’80s. Although Los Angeles has long harbored a large market for heroin on account of Mexican cartels pushing the drug across the Southwestern border, that distribution has spread across the country in recent years, and now more and more pain-pill addicts in the Northeast are getting a less-expensive high from the narcotics. The Times reports that overdoses and emergency room visits have surged across the country, while cases used to be largely reserved for the West Coast. Here comes the big question, why? Why would mostly affluent celebrities turn towards a highly dangerous drug like heroin for a good time? Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question. For some there may be a dual diagnosis with heroin addiction, such as depression. It’s really a case by case basis. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is the most recent celebrity to lose their life to the very dangerous practice of heroin use. He died with what the media have depicted as a certain cinematic flair — the “needle still in his arm,” 50 or so bags of heroin and used syringes scattered around the Greenwich Village apartment where he was found. It was an unexpected ending for the actor, who, it’s been said, didn’t quite look the part. After all, as Frank Rich wrote for New York magazine, “This tragic loss doesn’t fit the Kurt Cobain/Jim Morrison — or James Dean/Heath Ledger — template of a brilliant (and glamorous) young performer self-destructing or being struck down, leaving behind a relatively brief and stunted career and reveries of what might have been.” Decades after heroin’s ’70s heyday, long after the drug was associated with creative luminaries like Basquiat, Cobain, Jagger, and Joplin, heroin has retained a certain allure, the reigning drug of genius. Those who die at its hands — the famous ones, at least — don’t just die, but flame out terrifically, having “lived too hard” and “felt too much” but barely scratched the surface of their