|Text on Button||HEROIN IS HELL|
Red text on a white background
|Year / Decade Made|
This button refers to the way that heroin use can severely damage one’s physical and mental wellbeing as well as the negative effect its use can have on overall quality of life. In the early 1970s many soldiers came home from fighting in Vietnam having developed an addiction to heroin and the drug’s pervasiveness continued to grow throughout the 70s. In 1971, President Nixon named drug abuse as “public enemy number one in the United States” and announced the creation of the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention, to be headed by a leading methadone treatment specialist. Previously, the primary emphasis was on trying to arrest the problem of heroin out of existence. Law enforcement went after the whole chain of possession and trafficking and drug charges soon accounted for half to three-quarters of the population of some federal prisons. But as lives began to be lost in great numbers and as heroin abuse provided a vector for new and old diseases, the emphasis began to shift more towards treatment and recovery for the addict.