Heroin Abuse, Addiction, and Recovery
All About Heroin
Heroin. This is a drug that has perhaps been around longer than any other drug still in use and still abused today. Heroin, a morphine derivative that initially comes from the seeds of a poppy plant, has appeared across multiple human civilizations for the last three to five thousand years. Without a doubt, this is a drug that was discovered a long time ago, and it has been in use ever since.
Heroin addiction in the U.S. has also been constant and regular for centuries. Heroin has wrecked havoc in every country and across all sectors of the globe at one time or another, never seeming to allow any one country or group of individuals to recover long enough to work out successful preventative methods.
Perhaps one of the most alarming aspects to using heroin is the rate of those who become addicted to it. An addiction to heroin is an incredibly cruel and unfavorable affliction, and studies show that roughly one out of every four individuals who try heroin, even who just try it once to see what it’s like, end up becoming addicted to it. Because of the severity of this drug, it is of the utmost importance to know and understand the serious issues that revolve around it.
Addiction in the U.S.; Heroin Abuse at an All Time High
Heroin addiction and abuse has spiraled out of control in the United States of late. What used to be a sad and devastating but at least manageable problem has now blown up in the faces of the general American populace with far more Americans abusing heroin than there ever was before.
It is hard to say where exactly this increase in abuse came from, but there are a few things of which the reader can be certain. First of all, drug abuse and addiction in general has become more common and prevalent in the U.S. The U.S.’s whole concept and perspective on drug abuse and use has changed quite a bit since the turn of the century. Witness the recent legalization of marijuana in three U.S. states. All in all, drugs are becoming more common, and for some reason Americans are becoming more accepting of having them in their society.
Secondly, heroin abuse and addiction statistics have risen in tandem on an exact level with that of prescription opiate pain reliever drugs. Prescription drugs never used to be a very popular thing in the U.S. not until the last fifteen years. However, since the turn of the century the production, distribution, and sale of prescription opiate drugs has increased in the U.S. by over three-hundred percent. This is alarming but true. Because opiate pain reliever drugs have the same basic chemical make-up that heroin does, individuals who abuse heroin also abuse prescription dugs and vice versa.
Finally, the trafficking of heroin into the U.S. is also becoming more and more common. The country of Mexico traffics more and more heroin into the U.S. every year, and other countries find a way to get the drug into the nation too.
From the above information, it is pretty important to know heroin addiction when it occurs in oneself or in a loved one, and to seek out professional hope as soon as possible. Heroin abuse kills thousands of Americans ever year, and this is an affliction that is not to be dealt lightly with.
Statistics and Facts On Heroin Addiction in the U.S.
The best way to show a crisis or current troubling issue is through facts and statistics. Coincidentally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, (SAMHSA), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA), have all worked together to try and compile a summary of research findings and survey reports on heroin abuse in the nation. Some of this information has been included below to provide the reader with some context:
- In the year 2011 alone, more than four million Americans of the age of twelve or older (or two percent of the U.S population in that age group) had used heroin at least once in their lives. It is estimated that about a quarter or more of those individuals who use heroin become dependent upon it.
- Heroin use in the United States is a largely increasing issue today. The use of heroin jumped more than sixty percent between 2002 and 2013, with increases seen among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels, according to new data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The puzzling thing about heroin abuse today is who exactly is abusing it. For example, the biggest increases have occurred in groups that initially had historically lower rates of heroin use and abuse, including women and people with private insurance and higher incomes, according to the CDC’s Vital Signs report.
- Sadly, but in an expected observation, as heroin use has increased in recent years, so have heroin-related deaths. For example from 2002 through 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled. Between 2011 and 2013, heroin-related overdose deaths nearly doubled. In 2013 alone, more than 8,200 people died from heroin overdoses, more than seven thousand more Americans dying from using this drug than those who had died in 2003.
- Heroin use is part of a larger substance abuse problem, with users using other drugs, especially prescription opioids. More often than not, individuals who abuse heroin are also likely to abuse other drugs.
- Heroin use or dependency to heroin is 40 times more likely in people who abuse or are dependent on prescription opioid painkillers as well. The us and abuse of heroin is 15 times more likely in cocaine users; three times more likely with marijuana use; and two times more likely with abuse of alcohol. This causes much concern because marijuana and alcohol abuse are both far more common in the U.S. now than they were ten years ago, and this just serves to add to the ranks potential future heroin users.
- Approximately 120 people die each day in the United States of a drug overdose, and many of these individuals are dying from heroin.
Rehabilitating Those Afflicted and Addicted to Heroin
The only permanent answer to wrestling sobriety and a lifetime of recovery and heroin abstinence out of the jaws of heroin addiction lie in a course through an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment and rehabilitation center, detox facility, and program. These centers and programs are equipped with all of the technology, staff, facilities, methods, training, therapies, counseling methods, detox services, and modalities needed to effectively assist an individual in beating heroin addiction once and for all.
An individual can win out against any degree or severity of heroin addiction, but one must do so with the help of an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and rehabilitation center. The path is clear and simple, but the addict himself or herself must make the decision to walk it; no one else can.