Heroin abuse and addiction is a problem that the nation faces today. Heroin addiction has been resurging throughout the nation that has been creating devastating effects since the turn of the century. In the year 1999, there were only about half a million Americans who were addicted to heroin. In 2009, there were over two million. In 2015, there were close to three million. This has been skyrocketing issue that has created adverse effects left and right. Heroin addiction is not only one of the most severe addictions in the nation to beat, but it is also one of the most deadly. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA), had this to say about heroin addiction and the fatality risks that go along with it:
Heroin addiction is one of the riskiest afflictions that there is. Of all the addictions and the substances in the nation, heroin is by far the most fatal. About twenty-five percent of those who try heroin for the first time will at some point become addicted to it. Of those individuals, about one out of every four of them will end up dying from it. This means that out of every eight individuals who try heroin, even if just once, one of them will end up dying from it. The only two substances that come even close to this in terms of chances of death are prescription drugs and alcohol.”
When someone uses heroin, the drug affects the opioid receptors, (nervous system configurations that monitor pain), in the brain and the central nervous systems. This affection of these receptors is what causes the euphoric high, but it also has a very damaging effect on the receptors, the brain, and the central nervous system too. What this means is that, from the very first moment an individual starts abusing heroin he or she is doing a pretty terrible thing to his or her body. This habit and these actions, for these reasons and more, the use of heroin and its abuse must be avoided.
Why is it that heroin abuse has been skyrocketing? Herein lies the greatest catastrophe of addiction in the United States since the alcohol abuse epidemic of the 1920s. Heroin abuse only started to soar around the same time that American pharmaceutical companies began to massively increase their production, sale, distribution, and proliferation of opiate pain reliever drugs like Percocet, Opana, Vicodin, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Dilaudid, and others. Just between the years of 2001 and 2005, there was a more than three-hundred percent increase in the production of these drugs. Americans started getting addicted to them by the millions, and when they couldn’t get a hold of them, they turned to heroin which created the same high. This is why heroin suddenly became so popular because suddenly prescription drugs were prevalent.