Heroin, once seen as largely an urban problem, is now ravaging five-times the number of people across America it did just 15 years ago.
According to research from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, a condition known as heroin dependence or heroin use disorder has also tripled during this time.
Those most affected?
According to the data – poor white males with little education.
The prevalence of heroin use disorder is more pronounced among white males, 18-44, than among non-whites and older adults. As recently as 2001, the percentage of whites and non-whites abusing heroin was virtually the same.
According to the report, unmarried adults are much more likely to be abusing heroin than married adults and men were more likely than women to be heroin dependent.
What’s causing the explosion in use?
Researchers looked at the records of over 43,000 heroin users to find the answer to that critical question. What they discovered is a mere confirmation of what we already knew.
Medical use of opioid painkillers has been followed by non-medical abuse of opioid painkillers which in turn has led to heroin.
It’s an opioid drug – so it provides a similar and powerful high. It’s also cheap and readily available.
The path to heroin use is a straight line. Physicians prescribe opioids to their patients for medical reasons. Those patients rapidly develop a dependency on the drugs. As access to prescriptions gets more difficult, heroin becomes an attractive alternative.
The big drug companies and organized medicine have known they were playing with people’s lives for over a decade. This Columbia study is a stark confirmation that medicine’s addiction to these drugs has a human toll that is immense and growing.
If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin or other opioid drugs, programs like Aware Recovery Care can make a big difference. Aware has developed research tested treatment protocols that are substantially increasing rates of recovery for those addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. If you or someone you love is in trouble – learn more about the work Aware Recovery Care is doing right now. You can learn more by contacting www.awarerecoverycare.com. Recovery specialists are ready to start supporting your recovery today.
Photo credit: eschipul via Foter.com / CC BY