In case readers don’t get the hint in the main article, the sidebar explicitly states that “younger, more educated people are getting hooked.” Taken together, the two pieces—reporting an uptick in middle-class demand and better quality supply—warn the typical Times reader: Hide your kids!
Not so fast. Haven’t we read this all before? Yes. In fact, 13 years ago, a Sept. 8, 1996, Times article outlined the same dual trend in a remarkably similar story headlined, “Heroin Moves In On a New Generation.” Back in the glory days of heroin chic, it was an anonymous girl from Connecticut who conveniently fleshed out the epidemic, which began: “She started taking drugs when she was 15.” The author of the 1996 piece cites a source to maintain, “While the supply is on the rise, so too is the purity of the heroin.” It’s as if the past 13 years never happened.