Posted at 18:47h
Why do many people addicted to heroin share a similar story? Many people I know suffered an injury, then were prescribed pain pills, and eventually graduated to cheap street heroin. How does this happen?
Heroin has a history in the United States that dates back to 1874, when it was first imported from Germany and marketed as a safe and non-addictive substitute for morphine. The drug has seen a steady rise in use in the U.S. since that time, and in the most recent decade, heroin use has risen almost exponentially. According to a report released in 2013 by the CDC, heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, with use of the drug increasing by 63% during that period. (For reference, the overdose rate in 2013 was 2.7 deaths for every 100,000 people, or just over 8,000 deaths.) Dr. Christopher M. Jones, senior adviser at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and co-author of the report, added in the report, “Over the past decade, we have found a significant increase in heroin use across almost all demographic groups.” Even groups that historically had lower rates of use, such as women and non-hispanic whites, saw a major increase in use.