Deaths from drug overdose remains a problem in the United States, despite the many efforts to reduce drug use, and it’s getting worse. A record high was set, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with 47,055 drug overdose deaths in 2014. Opioid use has been on the rise since the mid 1990’s when opioid prescriptions increased drastically. Law enforcement took action by shutting down pill mills and persecuting doctors who were overperscribing. This led opiate addicts to resort to heroin, a cheaper and more easily accessible alternative. Between 2007 and 2013, the number of heroin users almost doubled, according to Insight Crime. President Obama has taken steps to decrease the amount of heroin overdoses, including increasing access to addiction treatment and expanding training for doctors who prescribe prescription painkillers. However, Dr. Ted Cicero doesn’t believe that Obama’s efforts are going to help much. He explained, “At some point, heroin use will peak and then start to drop off, but for the foreseeable future, heroin is going to be a big problem.”
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