We’re seeing a lot more Caucasians using heroin,” Rizzuto said. “Today, in a short period of time, from onset of drug usage to usage of heroin is a much shorter period.”
Rizzuto recently conducted a group-therapy session for men who are abusive toward women and also have substance abuse problems. Nearly everyone there was white.
“I don’t know why,” Rizzuto said, adding that his best guess would be that white kids tend to abuse prescription painkillers first, “which then opens the door to heroin.”
It’s saying we have a problem that arose out of nowhere. We don’t make the connection that the problem has been here all along and it didn’t justify our attention. You don’t see the strategic links between white folks saying, ‘We have a problem here,’ and our [blacks] saying we’ve had a problem all along.”
George Siberone, executive director of the Hempstead Hispanic Civic Association:
I don’t think our community suffers any more or any less in terms of heroin addiction. I’ve never had a referral or somebody coming in looking for drug treatment. There’s a significant [undocumented] immigrant population. For them to acknowledge drug use, they see it as a form of deportation. If they are [addicted], they’re trying to deal with it in a way without getting any assistance.”