Surge in Heroin Addiction Linked to Prostitution

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

Prostitution is not a career path that most people aspire to. Most of the time, trading sexual favors for money is the primary way of financing addiction, with research showing between 40 and 85 percent of all prostitutes are drug users.

Drugs numb feelings of shame and disgust, allowing prostitutes to continue with the degrading, violent work of selling sex on the street.

Prostitution is not an isolated “big city” problem; the industry is thriving in even the smallest of cities. Recognizing prostitution and addiction go hand-in-hand, experts say it should come as no surprise that drug abuse is also on the rise – particularly heroin and crack cocaine addiction.

Sex and Drugs Moving to the Suburbs

When the word “prostitution” is mentioned, many people believe the problem is isolated to the dark alleyways of metropolitan cities. However, as drug abuse and addiction have exploded among suburban dwellers, the image of prostitution has been forever changed.

One increasingly common trend is the influx of young suburban women working in prostitution. With more small-town women falling prey to the disease of addiction, even the most remote areas of the country have seen an unavoidable spike in drug-related crimes. After the cycle of addiction takes hold, its victims will do whatever it takes in order to avoid the sickness of withdrawal – and the end result can be deadly.

The Motor City’s Plight

Crack cocaine is the most widely abused drug in Detroit. Crack dealers in the city commonly operate prostitution businesses, recruiting female crack addicts to work for them in exchange for drugs. About 90 percent of Detroit’s street prostitutes are addicted to crack cocaine.

In the end, addicted women trade their bodies for pennies on the dollar just to obtain enough crack to last until the next client comes along.

Crack has had a devastating effect on the city of Detroit, especially among the city’s prostitutes. Out of all the drugs sold in the city, crack is undoubtedly the cheapest. The lowest cost for drugs on the streets always equals the lowest price tag for sexual favors. In the end, addicted women trade their bodies for pennies on the dollar just to obtain enough crack to last until the next client comes along.

Trouble in the Heartland

Maine isn’t one of the states that most people associate with rampant prostitution. However, the state is experiencing a heroin epidemic that killed 21 people last year. It is also seeing a boom in prostitution on a state-wide level.

Other states affected by addiction and prostitution are New Hampshire, which recorded 40 fatal heroin overdoses last year, and Vermont, which saw an increase of almost 40 percent in addiction and 25 percent in prostitution.

As addiction works its way into even the sleepiest corners of the nation, officials are bracing for the inevitable consequences: a huge increase in prostitution and a strain on the local health, welfare and law enforcement services.


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