Opioid use in the US has increased over the years, and this has led to an increase in substance abuse. Substance abuse is not only associated with use of illicit drugs but also prescription drugs. In 2015, of the 20.5 million reported cases of substance abuse, 2 million had an abuse disorder related to prescription pain relievers and 591,000 associated with heroin.1 The increase in substance abuse disorder has led to an increase in opioid related death. In 2015 drug overdose was the leading cause of accidental death in the US with 52, 404 lethal drug overdoses.2
Heroin and opioids have grown in appearance in communities. Since, 2008 in Allegheny County alone there was more than two thousand overdose deaths, with one hundred-seventy-seven deaths in this year alone (Pennsylvania). Furthermore, in 2015 there was only one -hundred-twenty-six;
Last year there were over 64,000 reported opioid-related deaths in the United States – making it the leading cause of accidental death in people under the age of 50 in this country (Katz). Opioids, also referred to as painkillers, have become a growing problem over the past two decades particularly in rural communities all across the country where the death rates are higher per capita compared to the death rate in cities (“America’s Opioid Epidemic is Worsening”). These narcotics, such as codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone are extremely addictive and, as a result, this silent killer has quadrupled the overdose death toll since 1999
Many people may not realize this but multiple states, including Michigan, are facing an epidemic. It is not a disease, however, it is a heroin epidemic. In a country where addictive opioid pain-killer prescriptions are handed out like candy, it not surprising heroin, also known as smack or thunder, has become a serious problem. The current heroin epidemic Michigan is facing, as are dozens of other states, has spiraled out of control in recent years. In Michigan, some of the areas hit hardest by this drug are in the southern portion of the state, like Wayne, Oakland, and Monroe Counties. The connection between painkillers and heroin may not be clear, but this is because both are classified as opioid drugs, and therefore cause many of the same positive and negative side effects. As a country, we are currently the largest consumer of opioids in the world; almost the entire world supply of hydrocodone (the opioid in Vicodin) and 81% of the world’s oxycodone (in Percocet and OxyContin) is used by the United States (Volkow). Along with consuming most of the world’s most common opioids, we have gone from 76 million of these prescriptions in 1991 to 207 million in 2013 – constantly increasing except for a small decrease starting in 2012 (Volkow). This widespread use has caused numerous consequences from increasing emergency room visits – for both painkillers and heroin – to sky-rocking overdose cases all over the country (Volkow). Michigan, unfortunately, currently has one of the
A huge epidemic that is obtaining a lot of attention from Congress and medical professionals across the county is the spiking heroin overdoses that are rising at alarming rates. (Krisberg, 2014). My question to everyone that is researching this topic is this:
The United States currently faces an unprecedented epidemic of opioid addiction. This includes painkillers, heroin, and other drugs made from the same base chemical. In the couple of years, approximately one out of twenty Americans reported misuse or abuse of prescriptions painkillers. Heroin abuse and overdoses are on the rise and are the leading cause of injury deaths, surpassing car accidents and gun shots. The current problem differs from the opioid addiction outbreaks of the past in that it is also predominant in the middle and affluent classes. Ultimately, anyone can be fighting a battle with addiction and it is important for family members and loved ones to know the signs. The cause for this epidemic is that the current spike of opioid abuse can be traced to two decades of increased prescription rates for painkillers by well-meaning physicians.
This literature review will focus mainly on the drug use of heroin, the scary numbers behind the drug and the sudden rise of overdosing on the drug across the United States. Issues that will be discussed are what is Heroin, what’s in Heroin that makes it addicting, how it can increase the users risk of contracting other life threatening diseases and where it’s use and abuse are most popular across the United states and we will take a look at multiple studies that show examples of our new drug problem in the United States. While we looked at how homicide rates have dropped while in class, the flip side to that is that the amount of drug usage has risen.
rate and cities are struggling to find solutions. The CDC reports that 27,000 people die each year due to heroin overdoses. The jails are filled with offenders, that once released go out and use again, continuing a cycle of insanity without producing answers. Youths experiment with drugs, which is nothing new, but the availability of heroin, meth and the lack of education has contributed greatly to this epidemic. No one seemed to be paying any attention until it reached epidemic proportions, or as some have suggested, became "a white middle class problem" that surpassed the poor minority population.
Opioid abuse has become so widespread in Baltimore that on March 1, 2017, the governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, declared a state of emergency. The rise in the number of opioid-related overdoses in the Baltimore have skyrocketed in the past few years. According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 1089 people, a majority from Baltimore, died of a fentanyl overdose in 2015. In 2016, the number rose to 1856 deaths. (Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 14). The spike in overdose deaths can be contributed to the increased use of Fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent and costs less than a third of heroin (Adwanikar; Duncan). Drug dealers mix fentanyl with heroin to make their product less expensive to produce
In Florida alone, thousands of Americans die every year due to the struggles of opioid addiction. According to Becker’s Hospital Review 1,399 (Rappleye) Floridians die each year from prescription or heroin overdose. Many families are affected by opioid
The heroin epidemic in New Jersey has been more and more relevant in 2016 and in the past few months. There was a report earlier this year of a mother and father overdosing on heroin in a car with their toddler in the backseat. This along with other sad and tragic stories have shaped the public narrative of the heroin epidemic in New Jersey. A report last year by New Jersey Advance Media notes that the per-capita rate of 8.3 heroin-related deaths per 100,000 people is more than triple the national rate reported by the Centers for Disease Control (Hochman). Ocean County seems to be one of the impacted communities in New Jersey. The death toll in this county and many other in Jersey have been rising. Researchers have found that dealers in New Jersey are adding more Fentanyl, an opioid painkiller a hundred times more powerful than morphine, to the heroin and thus sells at higher rates because it produces a better and bigger high. And the purity of heroin in Jersey is higher than the average. The fact that drug dealers are cutting their product with deadly toxins, that make it more addictive and more dangerous and most importantly keeps the cost low. Heroin has morphine mixed in it and can be a more affordable stand in for painkillers. A bag of heroin goes for about $5 or $10 whereas painkillers go for about $40 or $50. The affordability of the drug and the addictive nature
“...from that moment on I didn't take heroin because I wanted to, I took it because I needed to.” Heroin is a highly addictive, illegal drug that comes from the opium plant. In just the year 2014, 12,000 people in the United States died from heroin overdoses. The York County community has made a big effort to help fight the heroin epidemic, but despite these efforts the county is clearly still struggling with over 60 overdose deaths last year. Some of the efforts York County is making include the use of NARCAN, drug drop boxes, the Good Samaritan law and treatment courts.
Many articles I have read say that both law enforcement agencies and state officials suspect that the rise of heroin abuse is due to many reasons. One theory is that because local and federal drug agencies have been shutting down illegal prescription pill mills, and that drug abusers that were hooked on prescription opiates are seeking out cheaper alternatives such as heroin (Kounang, 2015). “Heroin seems to be the drug of choice right now for a number of reasons. Users can inject it, they can snort it and it’s very, very inexpensive and easy to obtain. We’re are seeing that it is cheaper in Providence than it is here in Massachusetts.” stated Ramos when I asked him why it’s so popular. In my opinion, one thing is clear. Both national and local authorities are making an effort to combat this growing issue. They are not turning a blind eye to this epidemic.
The United States is currently in the midst of an Opioid overdose epidemic. Deaths from overdoses of prescription drugs continue to be the leading cause of unintentional death for Americans. Last year, 47,055 people died from drug overdoses - 1.5 times greater than the number killed in car crashes. Overdose is an excessive and very dangerous dose of a drug. Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects. Medically, they are primarily used for pain relief. The most commonly prescribed opioid medications are Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet. Drug overdoses can be either accidental or intentional. They occur when a person takes more than the medically recommended dose. Treatments for overdose include medications
Addiction to prescription drugs has remained an ongoing problem for residents of West Virginia. In 2014, 26.2% of all drug rehab enrollments in West Virginia cited other opiates as their primary reason for entering treatment. The category known as other opiates includes non-prescription use of methadone, codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, opium, and other drugs with morphine-like effects. Coming in a close second as the most commonly reported substance of abuse among West Virginia drug rehab centers was alcohol addiction. 25.4% of the person’s entering treatment in the state during 2014 listed alcohol as their primary substance of abuse.