Heroin Addiction At Epidemic LevelsDr. Collins
Heroin addiction is running rampant across the U.S. at an epidemic rate. With deaths related to heroin quadrupling in just over ten years. According to the CDC heroin deaths have grown by 286% between 2002 and 2013. The rising problem seems to be connected to prescription painkiller addiction, as the CDC results show that those who are addicted to opioid painkillers are forty-times more likely to find themselves dealing with a heroin addiction.
Alcohol addicts are also more likely than those who do not to turn to heroin, at a twice as likely rate compared to their sober counterparts.
Regardless of the attempts to stop the drug use in the U.S. the numbers are soaring, across all different types of people. Those groups with normally low rates of heroin use are seeing increasing use.
The addiction to opioid painkillers makes for an easy transition and for many is about affordability, where heroin is significantly less expensive than buying painkillers on the street. With the largest percentage of the users being those under the poverty line it is easy to see how the cost can play into an increased usage.
The Baltimore Health Department stated that there as a large increase in deaths related to heroin reaching 178% with 39 deaths. In Baltimore one of the leading causes of increased deaths is due to the fact that heroin is being laced with fentanyl, an opioid ithat is much stronger than morphine.
Along with asking that addicts get treatment the health department is encouraging users to be safer while using. For example reminding people that if they are using they should not use alone, and encouraging users to carry Naloxoen, the antidote to be used in case of an overdose. Baltimore residents can attend overdose training, that will include being given a kit with Naloxone.
Heroin has moved out of the urban sprawl and into the suburban and less populate suburbs. The answer to dealing with this epidemic level problem lies in offering more treatment. Women, and young families are particularly lacking when it comes to treatments that are suited to their needs. Women have special needs when it comes to drug addiction and this needs to be considered when plans are made to improve treatment options.
Another stopping point for many is the stigma associated with drug addiction, rather than seeking help people tend to hide their dependency. Many opioid-addicts need a medical support while trying to quit, like a methadone program to free themselves from the drug. Women especially do better in a medically assisted program.