Crime: It’s America’s next health crisis.
Today, the New York Times reported that New York City has become a major hub for heroin distribution in the Northeast. In 2013, the New York Police Department seized 786 pounds of heroin – the largest amount seen in the past five years. Heroin distribution factories have arisen in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, where sales of this drug are fueling the rise of heroin use nationwide.
While drug enforcement officials are taking this opportunity to tout the higher numbers of narcotics, users and dealers being taken off the street, it is clear that crime – and drug abuse – is on the rise.
People in the world today are very good at spinning statistics. They utilize statistics to tell the version of the truth that they want people to hear. But the real truth is that crime has risen in many American cities. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there was a 12 percent increase in property crime and a 15 percent increase in rape, robbery and assault in 2012. This marked the second year that crime was on the rise in the U.S., ending the country’s 20-year streak of decline in violent crime.
Now, I am sure some bureaucrat would argue that things are better today than they have been in the past, in terms of crime, and it’s difficult to know what the truth is about anything anymore. The Obama administration’s lack of transparency on everything from Benghazi to the huge debacle surrounding the Veterans Affairs health care system has given the American public little hope that we will ever get honest answers to our questions.
But it can’t be ignored that statistics show crime has risen in many cities in America, as well as heroin addiction. In 2014, after decades of research and millions of dollars were spent educating the public on the ill effects of heroine, it is amazing to me that this drug is more popular, and cheaper, than ever. And if heroin is booming in New York City, I can only imagine how it is affecting other major cities throughout the country, like Detroit and Chicago.
As a national problem, this increase in crime – whether drug-related or not – will take a serious toll on our nation’s health care resources. Now, my question is: Are we going to hear the president speak more often about the rise in heroin addiction in this country? Or about the rise of violent crime? Perhaps it will be spun as some statistical point that, according to bureaucrats, is getting better and not worse.
Crime is a disease. It will lead to crowded emergency rooms and place even more pressure on this country’s taxed mental health care system and already-overwhelmed drug support centers. Why don’t we stop worrying about whether or not children can have chocolate milk in schools and start worrying about lowering crime and drug addiction in America?
Under President Obama, a perfect storm is brewing, stemming from our country’s lack of economic growth, lack of safety and lack of the truth.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.