According to a recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, more Americans today are using heroin than those 20 years before, which also includes an increase in overdose deaths, from 2,089 in 2002 to 15,259 in 2018.
The study analyzed the results of the 2002-2018 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which surveyed more than 800,000 adults with equal numbers of men and women. The average age of participants was 35 years.
Researchers discovered that over the course of 17 years, heroin use went up from 0.2% to 0.3%, which adds up to 1 million people on heroin. Heroin injection was prevalent in 0.09% but then nearly doubled to 0.17% in the study, and heroin use disorder was first at 0/1% but is now at 0.21%.
The study shows that heroin abuse is more prevalent in the U.S. today, especially considering that the survey didn’t account for those in jail or the homeless. This trend of abuse may indicate a rise in fentanyl abuse as well.
Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs out there today, made from morphine, which is a substance taken from the opium poppy plant. Heroin affects the nerve receptors that help us feel pleasure and pain, giving users an intense high. Users can take the drugs through injection, sniffing/snorting, or by smoking.
Long-term users suffer health complications from heroin that include liver damage, as well as damage to the brain through blood vessel blockage. Many users also spread HIV and hepatitis through sharing unsterilized needles.
What Are the Solutions for the Rise in Heroin Use?
Researchers are now calling for various effective measures to help combat this rise in heroin use.
According to the study, researchers propose:
- Emergency expansion of facilities to treat abuse
- Provided sterile syringes so drug users can avoid infections
- The use of FDA-approved medications for opioid addiction
Other interventions include naltrexone, a drug that is used for emergency treatment of heroin overdose by producing the same receptors as heroin but blocking the action. Finally, cognitive-behavioral therapy is an option for heroin addicts. Decision Point Center is one of these facilities that offers modern, alternative therapies designed to equip individuals with the tools they need to combat addiction and abuse.
Changing Lives Since 2004
For almost 20 years, Decision Point Center has helped countless individuals receive treatment for substance abuse issues and disorders, and set them on the path to a full recovery. By treating addiction as a disease, rather than as a personal choice, our team is able to help people effectively manage their issues through different therapies and skill-building. Our modern techniques make us one of the most innovative centers battling addiction today. If you or someone you loved is addicted to heroin, we have solutions and can be by your side as you take your first steps toward recovery.
If you want to get sober but don’t know where to start, call Decision Point Center at (844) 292-5010, or contact us online. Our alternative addiction treatment helps individuals reach sobriety in a safe and calm environment, and our caring staff is always on hand to provide support.