Heroin use was always a big problem for people from around the world. This drug is known to provoke the worst type of addiction and the most unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Heroin use is an important issue in the USA and it has been like this for many years. However, instead of diminishing, the heroin use in this country increased by 500%. According to a recent study, there are three times more heroin addicts today, than they were a decade ago. The study also managed to create the main profile of a typical heroin consumer, which is a male, white, with a low income and little education. Even though the most consumers are between 18 and 44 years old, there has been an increased usage, among younger individuals, between 18 and 24 years old.
According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, we can observe that the situation is more than alarming. If in 2002, the heroin usage was around 0.33%, today, over 1.5% of the population is an addict, has a heroin disorder or consumes this drug occasionally. The study is clearly showing us that the biggest heroin consumers are represented by the white population, with a worrying 1.9%.
However, we cannot but wonder, what is triggering the urge to consume heroin. The JAMA study explains this phenomenon as well and is telling us that 53% of the heroin addicts started with pharmaceutical drugs. Most of the users took prescription drugs, for different syndromes and conditions and after that, they switched to heroin. According to some heroin addicts, most of the pharmaceutical drugs provide almost the same effects as the heroin, because of the opioids. Even though opioids are an active substance in many pain killers, their side effects are very dangerous and they can generate addiction and withdrawal symptoms for a long time user. This explains why the opioid users felt the need of using the substance, once the doctor stopped prescribing them the drugs.
This is a very unexpected conclusion and according to it, heroin urge is often triggered by some prescribed drugs, which are 100% legal and available on the market. The heroin consumption comes as a substituent for the legal drugs, as the legal drug addicts didn’t receive any guidance after they ceased the opioid treatment. The lack of education and information is an also a reason. Many heroin users said that they started injecting the drug, without knowing what they’re exposed to and what are the risks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US heroin situation is even worse than we thought. In just three years, the heroin overdose deaths quadrupled and in 2013, they recorded almost 13,000 people dying from the heroin overdose. The highest death rate was registered at white men, with ages between 25-44.
Considering that the heroin use situation is extremely serious, we can only expect the worse, if some relevant solutions are not found. Nowadays, the Government created a Commission, which has the sole purpose of informing the individuals about the dangers of heroin use and its side effects. They also want to identify the addicts and help them quit this ruthless and deadly addiction.