Over the last five years, America was undergoing a major heroin epidemic. Teens and adults around the world were suffering from an addition to either heroin or painkillers are both. For many, an addiction to painkillers eventually turned to heroin. When an addiction to pain medication develops and then, over time, that gets too expensive, heroin is a close second choice.
And it’s an easy second choice with the low price of heroin. One NBC show indicated that many turn to heroin as a lesser expensive version of illegal pain medication. Plus, there has been a crackdown on prescription pill use, making it harder to get and heroin the best alternative.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2013, there were approximately 681,000 Americans over the age of 12 that reported using heroin in the last year. That number has remained the same since 2009. However, this number is also considerably higher than what it was between 2002 and 2008.
During that period of time, heroin use ranged between 314,000 and 455,000. Additionally, in 2013, the CDC released its 2013 Drug Overdose Mortality Data.
This report shows no improvement in mortality rates associated with prescription opioids. And currently, opioids rank number one in terms of drug overdose deaths. Overall, deaths from all prescription drugs increased by 6% between 2012 and 2013. Furthermore, deaths from opioids increased by one percent, and heroin deaths went up by 39 percent.
Rising Rates of Heroin
Despite the rising rates of heroin and painkiller addiction and overdoses in the last few years, the numbers indicate stabilization in 2015. According to federal officials and an article published in HealthDay the levels of heroin use in the United States no longer seem to be rising. Instead, they’re holding steady – although the numbers continue to be high.
Experts are staying cautious and doing what they can to find increased treatment options and provide more accessibility to treatment for those who need it. Another important means of keeping the heroin use stable is through education. By informing the public of the incredible dangers of heroin as well as the how addictive the drug is can possibly steer someone away from using the drug.
However, according to SAMHSA, approximately 460 Americans try heroin for the first time every day. This number alone indicates that if everyone who tried heroin gets addicted, then there would be 167,900 additional people who would struggle with an addiction to heroin every year.
Striving towards educating the public on the incredible dangers of this drug as well as providing Americans with healthy coping skills in order to keep this number down might add to the stabilization of heroin.
Certainly, it’s the high of heroin that gets people hooked. Heroin has been labeled the most addictive drug in the world. Its high includes feelings of euphoria, warmth, safety, pleasure, and even joy. It’s the low cost and euphoric high of heroin that continues to drive Americans to use the drug despite its incredible dangers. Yet, with sustained effort, education, and treatment options, it’s possible to lower heroin use not that the numbers have stabilized.
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