Substance abuse has been steadily increasing over the years in the United States. As a result, heroin overdose prevention has become a top priority today. Recently, the CDC labeled drug and alcohol addiction as being an epidemic. In the last few years, the drug and alcohol issue became the country’s number one health-related problem.
Why Heroin Overdose Prevention is a Major Concern
How did this all happen? One of the biggest causes of the country’s major drug crisis has been due to opiates. Opiates have increased in popularity on a massive scale. This problem doesn’t show any signs of going away anytime soon.
The biggest problem with opiates is that a tandem abuse of prescription pills and heroin is occurring. Now that opiate pain reliever drugs are the nation’s number one addictive drug of choice, heroin is also coming back into popularity as a result. Heroin is back and is once again causing major problems all across the United States. Some areas are affected more severely than others, such as southern Michigan.
Counteracting the Heroin Problem
Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint, Detroit, these are all southern Michigan cities that have seen spikes in heroin overdoses and deaths. One police officer from Battle Creek had this to say about heroin problems:
- “We have had eight and possibly nine overdoses since Dec. 29,” Sgt. Jeff Case said. “We believe one of them was a death and we are investigating a second one that may be a death from a heroin overdose.”
Bad news indeed. So how do the family members and loved ones of potential heroin addicts in Michigan prevent an overdose from happening?
- “It’s a struggle now,” he said. “We have an increase in heroin overdoses and we can arrest dealers and disrupt the flow for the short term, but until that desire for drugs is gone, someone will fill those shoes as a dealer.”
Until the addiction itself is actually dealt with, the person will continue to abuse heroin. There is really no other way of stating it, and there is no other way of addressing this problem that is workable.
Why is Heroin Making a Comeback?
Because so many Americans are now abusing pain reliever drugs, there has also been a spike in heroin abuse statistics. The drugs go hand-in-hand and these are problems that can really only be counteracted with drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation centers. In the US, from 2001 to 2013, there was a five-fold increase in the number of deaths from heroin overdoses.
The unfortunate thing is that the heroin problem was practically eliminated in the US at the turn of the century. However, following a 300 percent increase in the production of opiate pain relievers between 2001 and 2005 by American pharmaceutical companies, heroin abuse statistics (including heroin overdose deaths) have now soared to unprecedented levels.
Now more than ever, the focus needs to be on getting heroin addicts into rehabilitation before they experience an overdose. With heroin overdose prevention, many lives will be saved.