Baltimore Is the Heroin Capital of the U.S.


The spotlight on the city of Baltimore this week has been on violent protesters clashing with police over the death of Freddie Gray.  However, Baltimore already held another dubious distinction before its image was marred by angry mobs, looting stores and hurling rocks and bottles at police.

Baltimore is the heroin capital of the United States.

Government agencies have estimated that 1 in 10 of the city's residents are addicted to the drug. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency that translates to 48,000 of Baltimore's 645,000 citizens who are hooked on the substance. According to the National Survey of Drug Use,  an average of only 2 out of 100 Americans use the drug.

The city's addiction to the drug is nothing new and high usage dates back to the 1950's.

"It's an old Heroin town," explained drug enforcement agent, Tom Carr, in a recent interview with ABC News.

"There is an appetite for heroin in Baltimore … It's accepted by all too many people down there as something that's normal behavior." It's almost a rite of passage for some," he added, saying that the addiction is often passed down from generation to generation.

As the popularity of the drug has grown, the potency of the drugs being sold has increased, while high demand has made the price of getting high drop. 

While rural parts of the nation have had problems with methamphetamines and prescription drugs in recent years,  the number of users have dropped. The number of heroin users has increased and Baltimore is ground zero for those who are addicted to the illicit and deadly narcotic. . 

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