Deaths attributed to heroin overdose have risen by 400% since 2000, a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds.
The report analyzed data from 2000–2013, and found that prescription opiate overdoses plateaued by 2010. Heroin overdoses on the other hand, sharply increased at that time. Data regarding gender, age and race of heroin users was also analyzed. The results show a changing demographic of heroin abuser.
In 2000, the average heroin user was middle-aged (age 44–64) urban, and black. Today, the average heroin user is young, white, and may come from one of several different backgrounds. In addition, men are currently four times more likely to die from heroin than women.
Heroin Abuse and Overdose: No Longer Marginal Problem
These statistics shed light on the fact that heroin abuse is no longer a confined, marginal problem. Heroin abuse has spread into nearly every community in the country and there are no signs that overdose deaths will decrease any time soon.
Most experts believe that a combination of several forces has led to this growing heroin crisis, with prescription drug abuse being at the root of the problem.
In response to massive advertising and sales campaigns by the prescription drug industry, doctors began prescribing more opiate analgesics like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. Unfortunately, many patients became addicted to their prescribed pills. Even when people didn’t get hooked, having the prescription meant they could sell or give them to someone else who was hooked.
Federal and state governments began responding to the prescription drug crisis by attempting to control the flow of pills out of pharmacies. However, they already had a huge population of opiate addicts who needed their fix.
Mexican cartels stepped in with a large supply of cheap, pure heroin. Widespread distribution of the drug put it on every street corner in cities across America.
Before anyone fully realized it, a heroin crisis was born.
Advances in Opiate Addiction Treatment Provide Hope
Luckily, heroin addiction doesn’t have to be permanent or lead to overdose. Advances in treatment have made treatment for heroin addiction better than ever.
If you or a loved one are addicted to heroin, don’t wait to become another overdose statistic. Treatment is available today that can change your life. Banyan Treatment Center offers industry-leading treatment near the beach in South Florida. Banyan offers personalized treatment programs that focus on treating the core causes of addiction. Give yourself the best chance possible to recover by going to Banyan Treatment Center.