Letter to the Editor, New York Times, May 12, 1999.
Growing heroin use among the young and affluent?
To the Editor:
A May 9 news article, "For Heroin's New Users, a Long Hard Fall," indicates that heroin use and addiction has grown among the young and affluent. This claim has been made before.
However, despite examples of middle-class drug addicts and clinical impressions, epidemiological data do not support this idea. While middle-class people are as likely to use drugs and alcohol as disadvantaged people, addicts and alcoholics come disproportionately from uneducated, impoverished and alienated groups.
It cannot repeatedly be true that such drug use is shifting from lower to middle classes. If one day it were true, it would only be because our saying it over and over had made it so.
Morristown, NJ, May 9, 1999