Why Heroin Use is Rising and Who is Using

Opiates are a dangerous drug, and yet, many people can’t seem to stay away from them. Heroin is often associated with overdose cases in the news, and is seen in users of all ages. While the trend seemed to steer away from heroin for several years, it appears to be back and more popular than ever.


The Rise of Heroin

According to a report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in 2016, there were around three times as many users in the United States in 2014 as in 2003. Heroin deaths have gone up five times what they were in 2000. Heroin is the deadliest drug in use around the world, says the report.

One of the reasons for the increase is the fact that prescription drugs are becoming increasingly harder to get. Many of the medications being prescribed too often were opioids like OxyContin. As doctors decrease the number of prescriptions they are giving out, the number of people turning to heroin increases. However, prescription drug abuse has increased with the numbers of people taking painkillers for non-medical use going up from 1.8 percent in the early 2000s to 4.1 percent in 2012-2013.


Who is Using Heroin

The image of a heroin user once was a young person around college age who would be strung out in a back alley somewhere. They may be poor, even homeless. Even high school kids would try heroin at a party only to become drop-outs when they became addicted. Heroin addicts were mainly males in the past.

The person now using heroin might look quite different. The largest increase is with women and those who are making higher incomes. Many addicts have taken prescription medications, transitioning to heroin when they could no longer access them.

While the face of heroin may be changing and people in all walks of life are becoming addicted, it’s a drug that is still dangerous and many times deadly. Treatment is necessary for an addict to overcome the addiction and lead a normal life.


Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

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