In 2017 an estimated 72,000 Americans died of drug overdoses. Semi-synthetic opiates, like heroin, were the leading cause of these overdoses. Overdose deaths in America have been on this rise for nearly a decade. In 2018, the trend has continued, with opiate-related overdoses having spiked by 10%.
How It Starts
Eight hundred and eighty-six thousand people reported using heroin this year. Out of those eight hundred and eighty-six thousand people, eighty thousand were first-time users. Heroin use has become a crisis, and it is reaching into demographics that have previously had a low probability of being affected, like middle-class women and the privately insured. The statistics that people relied upon in the past to determine a person’s risk of becoming addicted to heroin are becoming less helpful as the heroin epidemic expands its grip on society.
People that have been prescribed prescription opioids in the past are at a higher risk of becoming addicted to heroin. Three out of four people that are addicted to heroin report that their issues with addiction started with abusing prescription medication.
The Heroin Epidemic
The heroin epidemic has shown no signs of slowing down. It is more critical now than ever before to provide the public with accessible treatment and reliable information. Many people who decide to quit using heroin cannot access the information and assistance that they need to be successful. Detoxing from heroin without professional help is dangerous.
The withdrawal symptoms can cause medical complications. People who do not have access to the treatment and information that they need and attempt to detox on their own without professional assistance, are far more likely to experience a dangerous, potentially deadly relapse. It is the goal of ENIGMA to provide the people being directly affected by the heroin epidemic with the resources that they need to safely move forward.
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