Our country has an opioid problem fueled by the fact that we have a drug abuse problem that often starts with alcohol, tobacco and marijuana.  The three primary drugs of choice that often lead to hard drugs.  People don't start their life of addiction with heroin.

 Funding for substance abuse prevention education programs is more than lacking but almost nonexistent at all levels of schools (elementary to high school) and community centers.  These programs would not only decrease the addiction epidemic but it would also significantly reduce domestic violence issues, human trafficking, pornography, crime and traffic car crashes (Florida is consistently ranked in the top 1 or 2 for fatal crashes involving drugs)... drugs often are the root of many of these life-alerting problems.  These issues individual, the entire family and every community. It is impossible to put a value on prevention programs.  How much do you value your family member's life?   


Marijuana's links to increase use of Heroin

  1.  See reports above---heroin is not the first use drug for any generation or ethnicity. 
  2. Why Marijuana Will Not Fix the Opioid Epidemic
  3. Marijuana and the Brain:  PowerPoint by Dr. Madras 
  4. Cartels are still thriving supplying illegal marijuana but have also flooded the market with heroin and decreased the price to create an even bigger demand and addiction.  Black market of marijuana   and DEA seizers of heroin.  As marijuana has been legalized across the county heroin use has increased. 
  5. Drug Free America:  Big Marijuana moves to exploit the Opioid Epidemic
  6. Additional Articles linking Marijuana and Opioid Use


Opioid Resources

Pathway to Heroin

STUDY:  Nonmedical prescription opioids and pathways of drug involvement in the US: Generational differences.      PDF form

The graph and report reflect no matter which generation heroin addiction does not begin by using heroin but other drugs.  The three  drugs that "prime" the brain and often lead to harder drugs are cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana.  We need prevention funding to help educate our children, parents and community leaders develop the skills and strategies to avoid drug abuse.   ADDICTION IS A PREVENTABLE DISEASE. 

This epidemic is being driven primarily by opioids – prescription painkillers or heroin.  However, the number one killer opioid is fentanyl.  Synthetic opioids like fentanyl killed 20,000 Americans in 2016.

Most fentanyl doesn’t come from here.  The vast majority is made in China and then shipped here either through the mail or brought across our porous Southern border.

Colorado Opioid Deaths have increased since legalization of marijuana



Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is prescribed in the form of transdermal patches or lozenges and can be diverted for misuse and abuse in the United States.


Gateway Drugs

The use of any alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana is highly correlated with the use of the other two. Alcohol, nicotine and marijuana are the three gateway drugs for youth

Heroin Epidemic CDC Information

LInk to additional information

Opioid Resource Center

Free access to research, data, analyses and other resources The opioid epidemic is taking lives every day. In the United States, where President Trump has declared it a national public health emergency, prescription opioids and heroin killed more than 33,000 people in 2015.

The United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic.

Opioids (including prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl) killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, more than any year on record. 40% of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.

If your doctor has prescribed opioids for your acute pain, a new Florida law may affect your supply. As of July 1, 2018, most opioid prescriptions will have a three-day limit. In some situations, physicians can prescribe a seven-day supply for acute pain, if the situation is documented as medically necessary.