Heroin Abuse/Heroin Overdoses in the United States

“What’s most striking and troubling is that we’re seeing heroin diffusing throughout society to groups that it hasn’t touched before. We’re seeing heroin affecting people in urban and rural areas, white, black and Hispanic, low middle and high income. We’re seeing heroin diffusing throughout society but we CAN turn this around.”
~ CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden
Any examination of the statistics will indeed show that that heroin is making inroads into segments of the population that were previously unaffected. The problem is truly becoming universal:
• Right now, 586,000 Americans are struggling with a substance abuse disorder involving heroin.
• Approximately 23% of everyone who uses heroin will develop an addiction.
• Over 95% of heroin users also use other drugs, and 61% use three or more.
• In the US, 129 people a day die because of drug overdose.
• That works out to more than 47,000 fatal overdoses in 2014– an all-time high.
• In 2002, that number was 23,518.
• Of those, 78 per day are due to heroin and prescription painkillers.
• Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of fatal overdoses involving heroin nearly quadrupled.
• In 2014, there were 10,574 fatal overdoses linked to heroin in the US.
• Roughly 80% of new heroin abusers began by misusing prescription opioids.
• According to a survey, 94% of people in treatment for opioid abuse moved from painkillers to heroin because the prescription drugs were “far more expensive and harder to obtain”.
• Young people are the hardest hit – in the 18-25 demographic, heroin use has more than doubled.
• In 2014, 28,000 underage teenagers used heroin within the past year.
• Approximately 16,000 were current users.
• At any given moment, there are 18,000 underage American teenagers with a heroin disorder.

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