Heroin: A sociological perspectiveCaitlin Siobhan Eagen SOC110
friend of mine from middleschool. We only keep in touchbriefly via our blogs andfacebook but she graciously offered herperspective for my project.For sake of ease
Q: How oldare you?A: 18•Most Heroin abusers arewithin the demographic of 35+•The second largest demographicis 18-25•Ethnicities range byeach age group. Kariis in the norm of herage category a Caucasian•Women are not ascommonly addicted
national level since 1992•Increased heroin use amongmay be due to: •Increased availability, lower cost, and higher purity of the substance•The higher drug potency hasincreased the amount ofusers who smoke rather thaninject•A newer trend suggestsyounger people are snortingthe drug rather than smokingor injecting•A study found that between1989 and 1991, 61% of newusers were 18 to 25 years ofage whereas, between 1993and 1995, 88% were 18 to25 years of age•The amount of adolescentsseeking treatment is equally
heroin? A) 13Q Who introduced you to the drug/taught you howto do it, etc? A) My ex-boyfriend. He was a heroin addict,and knew I had many problems, so he thought itwould “help.”•Men more likely to buy for their first use where aswomen receive it as a “gift”•Studies show sharing needles mostly takes place withlovers and women are much more likely to share•female adolescents are more than twice as likely tobe introduced to heroin by a male friend or boyfriend(68.75%)
male figure is important in the forming of heterosexual relationships and “lost” females mayQ Was there strive to use heroin as a sourcean inciting of connection or intimacy with aincident malethat Rape survivors are 10 timesstarted or more likely tofueled use other majorA) Yes, my bestfriend drugs.your heroinhad alreadyuse? using for 2 yearsbeenbefore I started. Then my.dad went to prison, mymom lost her job, we wereevicted from my home, andI was raped by two men, 2
Q Would you say I guess it’sthat the drug use like just bliss.was an escape? Why it’s perfector why not? elation. it’s being nicelyA) Yes, in many ways desensitized toit was an escape. I whatever paincan’t describe how you feelit was, because physically orunless you’ve used emotionally.it – you can’t Like a duvet onunderstand it. It is a cold, rainya vicious cycle, but day. Or like thewhen you’re in it – comfort of yourit’s like being a mother when themillion miles away rest of thefrom reality. Until world seems coldyou get sick, then and uncaring. Iyou know EXACTLY guess for a lotwhat reality is. of people it’s a temporary escape, but in
Focusing on threeparts of the mediathat has impactedsociety1.Music2.FashionQ How to do you3.Movies/Televisionfeel the media(movies, music,fashion) portraysheroin use? Is itfair? What would youchange about it ifyou could?A) All of the mediais right on the dot.Some is glamorizedbut for the mostpart I wouldn’t
•Popular grunge rockband during the 90s•Singer/Songwriter KurtCobain was a knownheroin addict•The band was veryinfluential in thegrunge scene whereheroin was popular.•He wrote MULTIPLE songsabout heroin, hisaddiction, and mentalillness•His use started in 1986but wasn’t addicted
Heroin in 90srock music•During the 90s heroin was usedby many of the “Best Selling”rock bands .•Nirvana sold over 5 millionalbums in the U.S. alone•His habit turned into a $500dollar a day affair•Aside from Nirvana –usersincluded: Hole, SmashingPumpkins, Alice in Chains, andStone Temple PilotsGuns & Roses had a hit singleabout heroin called Mr.Brownstone – and band Everclearhad a hit single called “HeroinGirl”•Courtney Love – Kurts widow –attributes heroin to hersuccess and creativity.
•The heroin look andlifestyle crept intothe fashion industryafter it exploded intothe music industry•Photographer DavidSorrenti created thelook in 1990s•“Drug Free America”tried to counteractthe fashion image byreleasing photos ofreal heroin addicts•Kate Moss for CalvinKlein•Heroin abuse becamemore popular in themodeling industry
•Heroin has been featured in many filmsincluding •Basketball Diaries •Black tar Heroin •Gridlock’d •Jesus’ Son •Man with the Golden Arm •More •My Own Private Idaho •Permanent Midnight •Rent •Requiem for a Dream •Sid and Nancy •Things We lost in the Fire •Pulp Fiction
My Own My own private Idaho Private Idaho •1991 •Starring River Phoenix who played a heroin using gay prostitute •Phoenix died from a heroin and cocaine overdose within a year of the movie’s releasePulp Fiction•1994 - Quentin Tarantino•Crime film•Features a heroin overdosewhen a character mistakesheroin for cocaine andsnorts it
•The movie musicalRENT gives a greatdepiction of heroinaddiction andconsequently HIV/AIDS•Two main charactershave HIV and one,Mimi, struggles tostay clean of Heroinbut eventuallyrelapses•During the song“Without You” it showsher during withdrawls
Q Did you try any other drugs beforeheroin? Q Anything else you’d like to Q You have remained a smoker and notA) Yes, ecstasy, ketamine, weed, acid, say? I would love your input or used intravenous methods – is that amushrooms, prescription drugs, GHB, ideas on anything! conscious choice? If so – why?cocaine, and 2cb A) Heroin isn’t something A) Growing up both of my parents shot upQ Do you believe in the “Gateway you can just do on the meth. And, I made a promise to myself thatdrug” theory? weekends and enjoy yourself. I would never go that route. I’ve seen myA) Yes, marijuana and alcohol were The addiction is nasty. Whether best friend go down that path and I seen itdefinitely my gateway drugs. you want to or not, you destroy her life. It was devastating.Q From your perspective – what surround yourself with horrible Q Have you have any health issuessocial group do you think uses heroin people, people that steal, related to the drug use?the most? people that have no morals. It’s A) No serious issues, but I have congestedA) From my experience anyone can get not something to glorify and lungs, my breathing is irregular, and 100%hooked – parents, doctors, police the dangers are REAL. always constipated which has lead to a lotofficers. But from the outside looking in, I have a friend who overdosed of weight gain.I would have to say uneducated by shooting it up, and she fell Q If you could explain one thing aboutteenagers. on the floor turned pale then heroin use to the general society thatQ What are your thoughts on purple and her lips were blue, doesn’t understand – what would it be?treatment/rehabilitation centers? Do she was foaming out of the A) Simply put, you’re dancing with theyou think that our health care system mouth, could barely breathe. devil. When you have your high –and rehabilitation system really is aimed EVERYONE except for our everything is good, but it’s the sickness thatat helping those in need – or do you feel mutual friend, left her! Left her follows that gets people stuck. It really doesit is a flawed system? to die! Thank God that our only take that 1 time.A) I feel it is very flawed. I’m on state mutual friend was there to call Q Who do you think is most susceptibleassistance for insurance, and I’ve called the police and save her life. But to drug addiction?just about every detox and rehab center she left, too after she had called A) People whose family/parents havein AZ, and NONE of them would accept the cops. If that’s the people been or are addicts, and just teenagersmy insurance OR not take me in because you want to surround yourself purely from peer pressure.of my needs – i.e., eating disorder, with, then use heroin. Becauseheroin and methadone use, I’m bi-polar that’s all that you’ll get.and have anxiety disorder.
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