The Continuing Problem of Heroin Use
Despite the rising addiction to a variety of drugs like meth and opioids, the use of heroin remains prevalent throughout the United States. As a matter of fact, the use of this drug is on the rise. Subsequently, the number of heroin-related deaths across the nation is also increasing. There was a time when heroin use was more common in low-income neighborhoods, but now, people from all walks of life are becoming addicted to heroin at alarming rates. The heroin addiction problem has expanded across all socio-economic, demographic and occupational groups.
Watch any number of documentaries about the problem with heroin and it becomes clear that this issue has gained the attention of healthcare and law enforcement agencies. There’s even legislation that was established to address the increasing heroin problem since many consider it to be at crisis level. The elevated attention to this issue is partially because it’s become more pervasive and impacts communities to a greater degree than in years past.
There have been many headlines over the years regarding celebrities and their drug addictions. While celebrities can afford to spend obscene amounts of money to feed their heroin addiction, crime rates are increasing because drug addicts who have limited financial means end up stealing to support their drug habit. Thankfully, families can depend on heroin rehab centers to support the recovery efforts of their loved ones. There are a variety of medical facilities that help heroin addicts.
Reasons Why Heroin Overdose Has Increased
One of the primary reasons for the increased number of heroin deaths, beyond the obvious use of a drug that should not be consumed, is the lack of drug purity. People addicted to heroin and desperate to acquire the drug have no way of knowing exactly what they are consuming and the purity level on the streets is low. To a large degree, heroin addicts are at the mercy of those providing the drug that clearly do not have their best interest in mind.
Some officials believe that concentrated efforts by law enforcement to address the epidemic of prescription drug abuse has contributed to an increase in heroin use since pills have become more difficult to obtain. There is a significantly increased likelihood of individuals who abused prescription pills in the past to become addicted to heroin. It’s been reported that approximately 80 percent of people who abused prescription drugs used heroin when they were unable to obtain pills.
When assessing the reasons for the increased number of deaths from heroin, it was determined that the rise is a result of the younger age at which heroin use begins. Younger heroin users tend to also consume alcohol, which increases the number of deaths. The combined use of heroin and alcohol can be deadly because it raises the risk of accidental overdose since there is no way of knowing the actual dosage of street-level heroin.
There’s also the issue of mixing heroin with various other ingredients, which is a common practice that has also resulted in many fatalities. Over the years, there have been heroin-related deaths believed to be the result of mixing the drug with painkillers. The street name used for a drug provides no information about the content of that drug, which makes it all the more dangerous.