Heroin Addiction : The United States

1743 Words Apr 19th, 2016 7 Pages
Heroin Addiction in the United States
Overview of Heroin Addiction in the U.S.
Heroin addiction is one of the leading killers of adolescents and adults in the United States. In recent years, addiction has skyrocketed, and “the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths increased by 286 percent between 2002 and 2013.” In 2002, “100 people per 100,000 were addicted to heroin, and that number has doubled by 2013” (The National Institute on Drug Abuse 2013). The most affected populations include low income males, adolescents, and those who have a family history of addiction, due to their increased susceptibility and crime-ridden environment. While it may seem as though heroin addiction is “just another drug problem” in the U.S., it is actually a problem of major public health importance because there are numerous physical, economic, and social risks associated with heroin dependence. Heroin dependence in the United States accounts for brain damage, increased homelessness, crime, and incarceration rates, as well as economic decline.
History of Heroin in the U.S.
Heroin was initially created by Charles Wright in 1874 to combat Morphine addiction amongst Civil War soldiers. The commercial production of heroin began in 1898, by the Bayer Pharmaceutical Company, and their “sales pitch” persuaded people that Heroin was a “safe, non-addictive” substitute for morphine, therefore, gaining popularity amongst healthcare professionals and their morphine addicted patients. As a result, numerous…
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