The rampant use of drugs in public places in the United States has gone seedier by the day. In complete disregard for social norms and safety, some addicts dare to use drugs in full public view. Incidents of such gross violation of public decorum by injecting, smoking or snorting various substances keep flashing in media reports.
In worse cases, some addicts have even been reported dead while overdosing on drugs in public places. Incidents like these can seriously hurt the cause and slow down the fight against addiction. Call them insolent or intrepid, these drug addicts set a bad precedent for others.
Instances of substance abuse in public
A recent report in the New York Times spoke of a man in Philadelphia, who openly injected heroin into his hands while traveling in a bus last spring, as the co-passengers watched him haplessly. It was certainly not a pleasant sight to witness. Kids and young adults could be easily swayed by such views and could be intrigued to try out themselves. Moreover, it is embarrassing to come across such pathetic sights while traveling with the family.
Ironically, many addicts utilize public places like parks, toilets, street corners to shoot up their stuff, making them completely unsafe for children and women in particular. When people, few years ago, used the toilets of a historic church in Cambridge to abuse substance, it was shut for the public causing discomfort to others who were genuine users of the toilet.
One of the reasons that have propelled such a phenomenon is the availability of cheap street drugs around every corner. People just buy and use them instantly in public places. It is not uncommon to see such people lying unconscious in parks, cars, restaurants, pavements, hospitals, libraries, etc.
Users of public toilets are often left disgruntled having found somebody lying unconscious on the floor, possibly due to a drug overdose. It leaves a bad experience for others. It is not that measures have not been taken towards addressing this problem. Many public toilets are built to discourage drug use. Police and authorities can keep an eye at such public places to prevent addicts from misusing the space.
Another report carried by the New York Times in 2015 talked about a Manhattan McDonald which has become a veritable go-to place for addicts in the city. The nearby area could be seen strewn with stuff which clearly points to the use of illicit drugs. There are people who regularly flock to this place for having their thing, hanging out with fellow addicts and to loiter around the area. Many food joints, restaurants and outlets choose to keep their toilets out of bound for public declaring them "out of use" apprehending such misuse.
Authorities should frequently crack down at such places so that the genuine visitors do not face the trouble due to the misuse of facilities by the addicts. Stepping up round-the-clock vigil and deploying regular volunteers can somewhat impede this unwarranted development.
Treatment of addiction
It is estimated that 78 people die every day in America from heroin overdose and abuse of painkillers. Unfortunately, most of them are street users. Such people need immediate treatment.
When a person abuses a substance, it effects a neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain. There is neurotransmitter restoration therapy which can help in restoring the neurotransmitters. Also known as NAD therapy, this treatment helps in neurotransmitter restoration in an addict and provides a long-term recovery.