Heroin use is on the rise in the U.S. according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the past ten years, the number of people who have used the drug grew to 300,000. The numbers show a 62 percent increase in the past decade, indicating that nearly three out of every 1,000 Americans have used heroin in the previous year. The annual report released by the CDC is based on surveys of over 65,000 Americans and is the government’s main resource for statistics on illegal drugs.
The report found that the numbers nearly doubled among Caucasians, while they leveled off in other racial groups. It also found that the rate of heroin use in women and 18-25 year-olds doubled. The report showed that use among people with higher income levels has increased. These findings further suggest that the availability of heroin is increasing.
Experts believe the increase can be linked to the cost of the drugs. Heroin is five times cheaper than prescription opioids like Vicodin and Oxycontin. It has the same chemicals and produces the same effect as painkillers.
The number of heroin users may have increased because more people have been prescribed painkillers to help with chronic pain in recent years. Research has found that people who abuse painkillers were 40 times more likely to abuse heroin. If they become addicted or abuse painkillers, they may end up seeking other drugs because they aren’t able to get enough from their doctors to support their habits. Because heroin produces similar effects to opioids, and because it’s much cheaper, they often use it as an alternative.
Heroin may have also become more popular because users may have had a harder time finding prescription drugs because of recent restrictions on the way they are prescribed. The heroin supply has been increasing, making it more readily available than painkillers. The way prescription pain pills are manufactured could also be a factor. In order to decrease abuse, drug companies are changing the formula so that they don’t produce the same effects when they’re crushed and snorted.
Because of the increase in heroin use, there has been an increase in overdoses. The CDC reports that in 2013, over 8,200 people died from an overdose, which is twice as many deaths as in the two years prior. That number has increased among white people and women compared to previous years. Reports of Hepatitis C and HIV have also been increasing, according to the findings. Heroin can be smoked or snorted, but the high associated with injecting it is more intense.
Experts believe that recognizing the relationship between abuse of painkillers and heroin can help in preventing abuse and addiction. They also believe that it should start with doctors being more cautious when prescribing painkillers to patients. They should give patients sufficient information on the possibility that it could be habit forming, and they should monitor the amount of drugs they are prescribing.
Education is also important in dealing with addiction problems during and after drug rehab in Raleigh NC. For National Recovery Month in September, organizations are raising awareness about the effectiveness of treatment programs by trying to reduce the stigma of getting help for a drug problem.
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If you’re considering getting alcohol or drug rehab in Raleigh NC, give us a call. There is no reason to be afraid to get help. Our caring admissions counselors can answer any questions you may have. Legacy Freedom of Raleigh offers outpatient programs designed to let you continue to work and meet family obligations. Call us today to discuss the many treatment options we offer. We want to be a part of your recovery from addiction.