Heroin is an opiate drug that is illegal to use and highly addictive. A person who only uses heroin a few times can become addicted. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), an estimated 23 percent of people who use heroin will develop an addiction to it. Unfortunately, addiction to heroin has increasingly caused more and more deaths in Durham and in the United States as a whole. In this article, you can read more about heroin addiction statistics and how this drug is impacting Americans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 8,200 people died due to heroin overdoses in 2013. This number is quadruple that of heroin overdose deaths 10 years earlier. Deaths from heroin abuse represent a significant number of drug overdose deaths in the United States. Out of the estimated 52,404 people who died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2015, an estimated 12,990 of them are due to heroin. Heroin addiction statistics show that addiction to heroin knows no gender, socioeconomic status, or ethnicity.
As an opiate, heroin works on the brain to slow breathing. A person can use heroin to the point where they stop breathing altogether. As a result, they cannot get enough oxygen to their brains. This can result in coma and death. Additionally, people often abuse multiple substances, such as alcohol and other drugs. Other people may use heroin that is "cut" or mixed with other drugs, such as fentanyl and cocaine. These practices all increase the risk for heroin overdose.
Most heroin users use at least three other drugs, according to the CDC. The most common predictor of heroin addiction and abuse is using opioid painkillers. Those who use opioids are 40 times more likely to be addicted to heroin. Examples of opioid painkillers include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). An estimated 80 percent of people who abuse heroin started out abusing these and other prescription painkillers. Those who are addicted to the following substances are more likely to be addicted to heroin:
By reducing opioid addictions and dependence, states and drug treatments centers are ideally trying to stop people from ever trying heroin and becoming addicted to it. In addition to this method, treatment centers are trying to increase opiate addiction recovery statistics by using medication therapies to help people quit abusing heroin. Examples of these therapies include methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. These medications can reduce cravings for the drugs and block pain receptors in some instances. In addition to these treatments, many states are making available the drug naloxone. Also known as Narcan, this medication can reduce the effects of a heroin overdose and potentially save someone's life.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an estimated 14.1 percent of people were admitted to drug treatment programs for heroin abuse treatment. Of heroin abusers, the largest number are ages 18 to 44, according to U.S. News & World Report. The average age a person uses heroin for the first time is 24.5 years old in America.
Heroin is an addictive and dangerous substance, the abuse of which has meant heroin addiction statistics are becoming more serious. Seeking heroin addiction treatment is often the only way that a person can overcome their very serious addiction to this substance.