CDC: Heroin Use On The Rise

by Steve Brawner ([email protected]) 139 views 

Heroin deaths nearly doubled from 2011 to 2013, while use of the drug is increasing among most American demographic groups, most notably women, people with private insurance, and those with higher incomes, the federal Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration reported earlier this week.

The agencies’ Vital Signs report said that more than 8,200 people died from an overdose involving heroin in 2013.

Those most at-risk of using heroin were non-Hispanic whites, people ages 18-25, those with annual incomes of less than $20,000, those receiving Medicaid, and those without insurance.

However, the report found rising heroin usage among men and women, at all income levels, and among most age groups.

The report said 96% of heroin users had used at least one other drug in the past year, while 61% had used at least three other drugs. Prescription opioid abusers were 40 times more likely to abuse heroin.

CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said in a CDC press release that the increase is being driven “by both the prescription opioid epidemic and cheaper, more available heroin.”

He called for better opioid prescription practices, more access to treatment for addicts, more use of the drug naloxone to combat overdoses, and a reduction of the supply.