Heroin Addiction Treatment Help-Line: 1-866-851-1619
Heroin Moves to the Inner City:

The relocation of most of the nation's heroin addicts into the American inner city during the 1920s was the result of a well-meaning, if illconceived government program that dispensed free heroin from medical clinics in these densely populated places. The majority of the nation's approximately 200,000 heroin addicts flocked to the big cities to gain daily access to these clinics. During the five years that preceded Congress's decision to make heroin illegal in 1924, addicts who registered at these clinics received daily heroin dosages, with the strength of their daily dosage being gradually decreased over time in an effort to wean them off of the drug. This program did not serve to reduce the number of addicts, however, but instead served only to compound the nation's heroin problem in a variety of ways. Not only did these efforts to cure existing addiction fail miserably, but, as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration notes, people who were not already addicted to the drug began to show up to get it, and "statistics showed that these clinics actually raised the number of addicts."Further, since the forced closure of these clinics in 1924 left innercity addicts needing nearly every dime for the purchase of heroin, they stood little chance of getting out of these places.

After heroin was made illegal, all that most Americans came to know of the drug and its users was what they read in the evening news. They read of the crimes committed in the inner city by addicts who needed money to purchase the drug, of the rising percentage of the nation's prison population that was serving sentences for such crimes, and of the even higher percentage of the nation's prison population (a full one-third by 1928) that was serving sentences for possession of the drug.

With the disappearance of heroin clinics in 1924, the demand for heroin was met by individuals and small-scale criminal organizations.

When international political pressure tightened controls on the manufacture and sale of European pharmaceutical heroin, however, black-market (illegally manufactured and sold) heroin became increasingly difficult for these small-time smugglers and dealers to obtain.

As a result, the purity of street heroin in the United States was quite low and the price was high.

The U.S. heroin trade underwent a dramatic and permanent transformation during the early 1930s, however, when gangster Salvatore C. Luciano, known to the world as "Lucky" Luciano, became the head of the Mafia. Under Luciano, the Mafia entered and soon dominated the lucrative markets of heroin and prostitution, and instituted an integrated system of smuggling, promotion, and sale of the drug in major cities around the country. The Mafia soon found that heroin dealing and prostitution complemented one another, since heroinaddicted prostitutes were virtually guaranteed to remain in the servitude of an employer that had an endless supply of the drug. The fact that many prostitutes were now heroin addicts, and were associated with the Mafia, helped to foster the assumption of many Americans that heroin could hold appeal only to immoral, inner-city criminals.

The Mafia became part of a sophisticated, international crime syndicate that had begun manufacturing and trafficking heroin in response to the disappearance of European pharmaceutical heroin from the black market. The majority of the heroin smuggled into the United States originated in the poppy fields of the "Golden Triangle" countries of Laos, Thailand, and Burma, and was processed in clandestine laboratories in Shanghai and Tientsin, China. "Owned and operated by a powerful Chinese secret society," explains author Alfred W. McCoy, "these laboratories started to supply vast quantities of illicit heroin to corrupt Chinese warlords, European criminal syndicates, and American mafiosi like Lucky Luciano."Additional heroin came to the United States from laboratories in Marseilles, France, where newly formed criminal organizations processed opium grown in the "Golden Crescent" countries of Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

  • heroin overdose deaths on the rise
  • BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Police and doctors believe a local resurgence ...

  • Read More...
  • Man Gets Prison Time For Selling Sugar As Heroin
  • LEBANON, Pa. -- A Lebanon County man was stunned Wednesday ...

  • Read More...
  • Heroin Problem Is Not New To Drug Culture Insiders
  • It has been in the headlines. Last month three Newtown ...

  • Read More...
  • Cops bust heroin dealers
  • JEWETT CITY -- Borough warden Cynthia Kata readily admits she ...

  • Read More...
  • Man sentenced on heroin charge
  • Darryl Winkfield was just looking for someone to give him ...

  • Read More...
  • Pakistan warns of surging heroin supply
  • ISLAMABAD : A senior Pakistan official on Monday claimed that ...

  • Read More...
  • Cops: Heroin, cocaine seized in 2 busts
  • In separate drug busts, Jersey City East and West District ...

  • Read More...
 Fugitive accused of driving with kids in car after taking cocaine.
MIDDLESEX COUNTY,New Jersey —A man charged with child endangerment and possession of cocaine after allegedly ...
 WC meth lab busted
On Saturday, July 19, 2008, Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators, as part of ...
 Home meth lab explodes
BROKEN ARROW - Two Broken Arrowans have been arrested in connection with the fire; a ...
 Indictments returned against neighborhood’s meth-making suspects
A Palo Pinto County Grand Jury indicted 10 individuals Wednesday on 10 charges, including five ...
 Couple in prison for meth lab
CASSOPOLIS - Two methamphetamine lab operators were put behind prison bars on Friday morning in ...
 Young man stole stereos to pay for his methadone habit
SOMERSWORTH - The thought of getting arrested for shoplifting didnt enter 22-year-old Chriss mind when ...
 Front line in the fight against heroin addiction
SEABROOK - Paramedic Kevin Janvrin has found them parked in cars outside local stores, in ...
 Escaping the clutches of heroin addiction
SOMERSWORTH - Terri Provencher, a 39-year-old mother and recovering heroin addict from Seabrook, has tried ...
 Drugs Heroin
Mexico Drug Growers Switching to Heroin Monday April 21, 2003 6:49 AM TLAPA DE COMONFORT, Mexico ...
 Parents confront heroin nightmare
By David Wecker Post staff reporter In an extraordinary meeting marked with heated accusations, frustration and ...
 Heroin Addiction
She was the hardest worker they knew. Melissa Lockovitch toiled the 2-10 p.m. shift as ...
 DEA Dismantels Heroin Traffic
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Guillermo Gil, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico ...