The Modern Heroin Epidemic in America

Modern Heroin Epidemic - Freedom From Addiction

Heroin abuse is a health crisis that's no longer confined to any particular ethnic, social or economic group. In the past decade, rates of heroin use have doubled among young adults aged 18-25. The heroin epidemic has produced increased rates of usage in demographics that, historically, have had lower rates of abuse, such as:

  • Women
  • Upper income groups
  • People with access to private health insurance

The response to the heroin epidemic has been met by individual states, focusing upon prevention, education and increasing access to addiction treatment services. Even so, death rates from accidental overdose have continued to rise, with more than 8,000 people perishing from opioid poisoning in 2013 alone.

The American Heroin Epidemic: The Nation's Greatest Battle

The federal government is spearheading initiatives to help reduce the rates of opioid abuse across the United States. With more than 45% of current heroin addicts having been first hooked on prescription painkiller pills, addiction treatment is focused not only on the heroin epidemic, but also on the entire problem of substance abuse as a whole. Heroin comprises only part of the larger overall picture of substance abuse, because nearly every heroin addict also abuses at least one other drug. People who are addicted to the following drugs are at these respectively increased rates of also developing a heroin addiction:

  • Alcohol addicts are two times more likely
  • Marijuana addicts are three times more likely
  • Cocaine addicts are 15 times more likely
  • Prescription opiate addicts are 40 times more likely

Treating the Heroin Epidemic

Addiction treatment accessibility is only part of the solution to the scourge of heroin and prescription opiates. State and federal government organizations are working to:

  • Increase awareness about at-risk populations and develop more responsible pain medication prescribing practices
  • Reduce addiction rates by increasing access to addiction treatment and medication-assisted treatments
  • Increase access to the drug naloxone, which reverses the life-threatening symptoms of an opioid overdose

However, every person has the power to help reverse the trend of drug abuse. If you or someone you love is abusing opioids, please know that there is a way out. There is no shame in asking for help, and the life you save could be your own. Freedom From Addiction can assist you in your desire for addiction treatment. Call us.

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