Heroin Addiction SoarsDr. Collins
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction know you aren’t alone. In the US heroin use has increased by startling numbers over the last eleven years increasing 63% according to the CDC. Often these addictions are a substitution for something that the person was previously addicted to, for example, many people who become addicted to prescription painkillers will make the shift to heroin, as it is more easily accessible. Unlike prescription painkillers you don’t have to have a prescription to get your hands on heroin and it can often be more affordable.
Though the use of heroin is predominately done by males who are eighteen to twenty-five and who are typically under the poverty line, the CDC found that use across the board has increased. Unfortunately along with that rise in use, there is a devastating consequence, a rise in the death toll as well. What used to be a problem that surfaced generally in urban areas is moving into the suburbs, and impacting those from every walk of life.
Heroin use also tends to lead to other drug use. According to the most current information at least 96% of people who have used heroin now or in the past have admitted to using one or more other drugs at the same time, with a startling 61% saying that they have used at least three different drugs all at once, or during the same timeframe that they were doing heroin. These numbers are stunning, and show the danger that can come from the use of heroin as it can easily lead into other things.
So what is changing? It’s hard to say what is really at the root of the problem. There are steps that are being taken to help improve the situation. For starters the government is improving the coverage for things like treatment, rehab and other substance abuse options through the Affordable Care Act.
Another step that needs to be taken to help avoid opioid overdose related deaths is more open access to the antidote, naloxone, according to the CDC. This needs to happen at the state rather than the federal level.
Drug addiction of any sort is difficult, but heroin or other opioid addictions are perhaps among the most hard to overcome and rely on the help of medical and therapeutic professionals. With the expanse in coverage from the affordable care act if you or someone you love is dealing with this kind of addiction it is never too late to seek help.