Heroin Abuse : A Growing Concern

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Heroin abuse is a growing concern in the United States, particularly in young adults. Heroin, produced from morphine, is a highly addictive and fast acting opiate. Opiates are used for treating pain, and are derived from opium, which comes from the poppy plant. They provide people with a sense of intense euphoria, which is partly why they are so addictive. Because heroin is so addictive, especially in comparison to other drugs, it leads to many deaths due to overdoses. This topic is increasingly important because heroin usage not only leads to death, but often leads to diseases like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, and others, creating more public health issues. A survey conducted by the National Drug Intelligence Center (2003), on United States residents revealed that over 75,000 individuals aged 12 to 17 have used heroin at least once, and 474,000 for individuals aged 18 to 25. In addition, the amount of overdoses in the United States has increased dramatically over the past decade, and does not seem to be coming to a halt anytime soon. There needs to be more of an unrelenting attempt and effort to target prevention for opioid abuse, dependence, and death.
This article by Rudd et al. describes the statistics of drug overdoses between 2000 and 2014 in the United States, and highlights the dramatic increase particularly with opioid overdoses. The article also demonstrates that this increasing epidemic does not discriminate with gender or race. However, the article points out
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