It’s universally recognized that heroin addiction is a massive problem. Although heroin affects people of all ages, America’s middle class and affluent youth are proving to be the most susceptible. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, “In 2009, the most recent year for which national data is available, 510 young adults, ages 15 to 24, died of a heroin overdose, up from 198 in 1999. Almost 90 percent of teens who are addicted to heroin are white.” This statistic defies the popular belief that hard drugs like heroin exclusively affect young people from inner cities. Heroin has been moving into the suburbs for years now, but why?
According to NCADD, “Kids in the city know not to mess with it, but kids from the suburbs never got that message,” says Chicago Police Captain John Roberts, whose son suffered from heroin addiction and eventually died from it. He founded the Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization to help other families deal with teen heroin use. So, we know that heroin addiction is decimating young middle class and affluent white communities, but why? The answer might surprise you.
According to a new NBC news report, “The massive increase in prescription drug abuse is fueling a rise in heroin addiction. A growing number of young people who start abusing expensive prescription drugs are switching to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to buy. Prescription pain pills cost $20 to $60, while heroin costs $3 to $10 a bag. Most younger people who use heroin start off snorting the drug, and within weeks, many start shooting up.”
The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that 1 in 15 people who take non-medical prescription pain killers will try heroin within 10 years. The people described in this statistic are those that take pain medication exclusively for the feeling it causes, and not for medical use. How many Americans are abusing prescription pain meds? 12 million people(mostly young people) used pain meds for non-medical use in 2010 according to drugabuse.gov. That’s over 1 in 20 Americans.
We all know how serious heroin addiction is, but if these statistics are to be believed then our country is facing a problem that is hugely dangerous and unprecedented in terms of scale and danger to the general public. And afflictions like heroin addiction don’t just affect one person. It always starts with the individual and quickly poisons families, entire communities and it only grows from there. We all have a responsibility to address the plague of heroin addiction because we are all affected.
You or a member of your family might not struggle with heroin addiction, but we all pay taxes and have to shoulder the burden of drug addicts who are often uninsured being rushed to the emergency room for life-saving treatment. According to The National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Heroin emergency room admissions are rapidly increasing. In 2005 there were less than 200,000 emergency room visits related to heroin. By 2011 this number had increased to almost 260,000.” We also foot the bill when drug addicts go to jail.
What can we do to fight the plague of prescription pain medication abuse and its link to heroin addiction? Recovery In Tune is an incredible team of experienced and knowledgeable experts whose mission, priority and goal is to help individuals mired in the throes of addiction to find lasting recovery and healing.
They have a complete understanding of the struggles of addiction and believe that each one of their clients deserve to be treated with compassion and acceptance. They strive to provide their clients with the necessary skills and the clinical understanding of their addiction to help prevent relapse and continue long-term sobriety. For more info on Recovery In Tune, contact us today!