dollar store overdose
A video has begun to go viral showing a heartbreaking scene of a mother laying on the floor of a Dollar Store, unconscious from an apparent overdose, while her 2-year-old cries in horror trying to revive her.

When police arrived at the store, they were able to immediately reverse the overdose using Narcan. However, the mother was then arrested and charged with child endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to authorities. The child has now become a ward of the state.

According to police, around 10 percent of the fentanyl and heroin cases they respond to, have children present.

Cops are busting down doors and arresting drug users and dealers at a higher rate now than at any other time in history — yet these scenarios continue to play out. Why is that?

It is undeniable that the shocking and heartbreaking video below shows the horrors of what a heroin addiction can do. However, in order to reverse this massive epidemic, we must realize the root of the problem.

For the last several decades, the state has waged a war on drugs.

Heroin overdoses are on the rise again in the US. While there has been a steady increase in use over the years, the main reason for the increase in deaths is because the product is becoming more dangerous. A new trend of cutting the drug with the very strong post-surgery painkiller Fentanyl is largely to blame for the recent spike in deaths that are occurring around the country.

Fentanyl is approximately 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine and roughly 40 to 50 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade (100% pure) heroin.

Since Fentanyl is so strong, it can be mixed with heroin and other adulterants to trick people into thinking that they are getting more heroin than they actually are. However, the risk of death and overdose greatly increase because Fentanyl is very disruptive to the respiratory system.

"The more narcotic you take, the less your body has an urge to breathe, and it makes sense that a lot of people are overdosing on it because they aren't sure how much to take," Dr. J.P. Abenstein, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists said in a statement.

These deaths and overdoses are a direct result of prohibition.

As Justin Gardner previously noted, we should have learned the lesson that prohibition only causes greater harm, during the miserable attempt at alcohol prohibition from 1920 to 1933. When government attempted to ban alcohol, its production and distribution shifted to the black market, and people suffered and died.

Reports of blindness and death were common as people attempted to make their own alcohol but failed to realize the dangerous by-products that can be produced. Bootleg alcohol-fueled violent criminal gangs exploiting prohibition for financial gain. We are seeing the exact same scenario play out today.

There will always be demand for drugs, and there will always be supply to meet this demand. If government attempts to ban substances, making it a little harder for some people to get things like cocaine, they will synthesize some other, more dangerous substance — like flakka.

If you think this street heroin is bad, take a looks at what flakka does to people. Flakka, which emerged as a replacement for bath salts, which had emerged as a replacement for cocaine, has taken off in popularity in South Florida over the past few years. It causes delirium and the feeling of superhuman strength, and is known to cause extremely bizarre behavior - including a 17-year-old girl "running down a street naked, covered in blood and screaming, "I am God! I am Satan!"

The government keeps banning things, and people keep getting worse off. Synthetic drugs like flakka and fentanyl are killing people, at epidemic rates.

If you want to stop the overdoses, decrease crime, and deal a death blow to the for-profit prison system, there is a simple solution - End the War on Drugs.

This idea that legalization and decriminalization decrease use is nothing new. While the idea of treating an addict with compassion instead of violence is a revolutionary notion in this country, this criminal ignorance doesn't exist everywhere. In other countries, such as Portugal, its effects have been realized for more than a decade. In 2001, the Portuguese government decriminalized all drugs.

15 years later, drug use, crime, and overdoses have drastically declined in Portugal exposing the disturbing reality of prohibition.

The US government knows, without a doubt, that legalizing drugs drives down their use — yet they refuse to act. So, as you watch the video below, know that this could have all been prevented, the federal budget could have more than a trillion dollars back into it, and people would be freer — if the state would simply stop kidnapping, caging, and killing people over arbitrary substances they deem illegal.