General Heroin Statistics
A 2015 study published in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examined data from the NSDUH and the National Vital Statistics System and reported the following trends in heroin use from 2002 to 2013:
- Between 2002 and 2013, heroin use increased by 63% overall, and increases were observed in both genders, most age groups, and all income levels.
- Data from 2011 to 2013 indicated that the greatest demographic risk factors for using heroin were: male gender, 18-25 years old, non-Hispanic white race, urban residence, <$20,000 household income, Medicaid insurance coverage, and past-year abuse or dependence on opioid pain relievers.
- The rate of heroin use among women doubled from 0.8% to 1.6% during the decade between 2002 and 2013.
2016 General Heroin and Opiate Facts and Stats:
- Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as the licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others.
- Addiction is a primary, chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
- It is estimated that 23% of individuals who use heroin develop opioid addiction.
- Opioids are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain.
- Of the 21.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2014, 1.9 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.
National Opioid Epidemic – Facts
- Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers. As a consequence, the rate of heroin overdose deaths nearly quadrupled from 2000 to 2013. During this 14-year period, the rate of heroin overdose showed an average increase of 6% per year from 2000 to 2010, followed by a larger average increase of 37% per year from 2010 to 2013.
- In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills.
- Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.
- 94% of respondents in a 2014 survey of people in treatment for opioid addiction said they chose to use heroin because prescription opioids were “far more expensive and harder to obtain.”
- From 1999 to 2008, overdose death rates, sales and substance use disorder treatment admissions related to prescription pain relievers increased in parallel. The overdose death rate in 2008 was nearly four times the 1999 rate; sales of prescription pain relievers in 2010 were four times those in 1999; and the substance use disorder treatment admission rate in 2009 was six times the 1999 rate.
Who Abuses Heroin/Opioids?
The average user of Heroin has changed drastically over the past decade. In 2005, black Americans aged 45 – 64 had the highest rate of drug overdose with Heroin. Now, white people aged 18-44 have the highest rate of heroin use and overdose. Actually, in 2016 non-whites used Heroin/Opioids much less than white people did. Heroin has taken control of our white suburbs in a BIG way, which has brought on much needed attention. Is it too late to STOP this heroin/opioid epidemic?
The graph below shows a major up-tick in heroin/opioid usage over the past several years.