The Opiate Epidemic
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has estimated that overdose-related deaths from Heroin have surpassed the number of gun related homicides in 2015.
Each day in the United States, an estimated 129 people die from drug overdose, an approximated 78 of those deaths are from Opioid overdoses.
Wide-spread prescription Painkillers may be accountable for the rise in Opioid addiction across the country. According to the CDC, health care providers wrote nearly a quarter of a billion prescriptions for synthetic Opioids in 2013 alone.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a drug threat assessment on November 2015, stating that Drug overdose deaths have become the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States.
Drug overdose deaths were ahead of deaths by firearms as well as motor vehicle accidents. 2007 In the most recent year on record (2007), firearm-related deaths significantly surpassed Heroin overdose deaths by a 5 to 1 ratio.
A First for U.S. Records
As a first for the United States, this Opioid epidemic is making its mark in U.S. History. Opioid use altogether, including prescription Painkillers and Heroin, have resulted in the highest number of deaths than any other record year.
In 2014, over 28,000 individuals lost their lives from Opioid overdose. Moreover, approximately half of the Opioid related deaths involved prescription Painkillers.
Per the CDC, synthetic Opioid deaths, including drugs like Tramadol and Fentanyl increased from 2013 to 2014 by 79 percent.
Reports from the DEA indicated Heroin overdose deaths have beyond tripled in number from 2010 to 2014. Across the U.S., Heroin deaths are continuing to rise; especially in the Midwest and Northeast.
From 2015, the DEA seizures of Heroin in Arizona have seen an incline of 246 percent within the last five-year time span. Approximately three out of four new Heroin users reported abusing prescription Painkillers before beginning the use of Heroin.
Rising rates of Heroin use could be attributed to its wider availability, increase in potency and decline in overall cost. Due to the outbreak of Fentanyl laced Heroin, the overdose epidemic is on a continued incline.
High Rates: and No Decline in Gun Violence
It is important to take note that these estimates do not insinuate that gun violence is on a steady decline. Rather these estimates bring light to the facts of the horrific nature of this nationwide Opioid epidemic.
The Nations Opioid epidemic, including Heroin synthetic Opioid overdose deaths is continuing to spiral out of control. The rise of Opioid related deaths is a threat to the safety of our nation and its citizens.
As far as the concern for the potential rise in Heroin addiction, the CDC states the most common individuals at risk.
Individuals who pose the greatest risk for a Heroin addiction are: 18-25 years of age; presently dependent or addicted to prescription Opioids; cocaine abusers; individuals with Medicaid or without insurance; individuals presently abusing Marijuana and Alcohol; and people that reside in largely populated metropolitan areas.
The best hope to come out of the tragic reality of the United States Opioid Epidemic, is the realization that addiction is not about morality nor is it about general will power.
Addiction is a mental disorder that re-wires and controls each aspect of an individual’s life, actions and thoughts.
Simply coming to terms with the fact that addiction is deadly and that the incline in Opioid overdose poses a real-life threat, is not enough to make an addicted individual quit abusing drugs.