News of the US heroin epidemic is starting to break through the walls of politeness that obscure it. The image of the destitute streetcorner addict is being slowly replaced with the realization that the heroin addict could be your neighbor. Four Northeastern states (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania) have just announced they will collaborate to try to stop what has become a huge nationwide problem. The Attorneys General in those states detail how “skyrocketing demand for heroin and higher profit margins for traffickers are now driving the trade.”
But it usually takes one particularly egregious story to lodge a problem into the national consciousness–to show how far things have gone and to galvanize action. That story probably just happened in Delaware, where Reuters reports that a 4-year-old girl brought “roughly 250 packets of heroin to her daycare, and passed them out to classmates thinking they were candy.” The child’s mother, 30-year-old Ashley Tull, was charged with possession and child endangerment.