Heroin Stats: National Statistics on Use
Heroin is an opioid drug that’s made synthetically from morphine. It’s not legal to purchase heroin in the United States because it’s a Schedule I drug with no recognized medical purpose.
Heroin can be a brown or white powder. It can also be a black, sticky substance in some forms. It can be:
Heroin-related deaths are a serious problem, which is why it’s important for the government to track the use of heroin nationally and determine how heroin impacts the global environment.
Heroin stats are one good way to gauge how heroin use is being handled in the United States. With these statistics, it’s possible to track heroin use in the United States and find new ways to help those addicted to this opiate. At FHE, we know how dangerous heroin can be, so we hope you’ll take the time to read these heroin abuse facts and learn more about this illicit substance.
How Does Heroin Rank Against Other Drugs?
Looking at heroin abuse statistics, you can see that heroin ranks in the top 10 drugs most often involved in drug overdose deaths. Heroin ranked as the top drug in these cases between the years of 2012 and 2016, according to the National Vital Statistics Report.
Heroin use has been on the rise since 2007, and it has increased most quickly among those between the ages of 18 and 25. The increase in heroin use has been directly linked to factors that include a widespread increase in opioid prescription use and restriction by medical professionals.
In Which Regions Is Heroin Most Popular?
In the past, heroin was seen as a drug that would only be found in urban areas. Today, that’s no longer the case. In one report, several rural and suburban areas near St. Louis and Chicago reported an increasing number of heroin seizures in the area.
They also reported an increase in overdose deaths related to heroin use. Heroin use is seen across the United States, but some states see more than others. States with high heroin use include:
How Many Deaths from Heroin Use Are Reported Annually?
In 2017, over 15,000 people were killed as a result of drug overdoses that involved heroin within the United States. Between 2010 and 2017, the number of people dying from heroin overdoses increased by five times, showing the overall growth of the use of heroin in America.
Males between the ages of 25 and 44 are most likely to die from an overdose, based on the statistics, with 14.8 deaths per 100,000 individuals in 2017.
Heroin Use in the United States: Overdoses
Heroin use has been on the rise in America, and there were 81,326 emergency visits for heroin-related poisonings in 2015. Overdoses don’t necessarily lead to death, so while there were more than 15,000 deaths from heroin overdoses in 2017, the number of people who have overdosed and survived is much higher.
Heroin Treatment Statistics
Prescription Rates and the Popularity of Opiates
Part of the reason that heroin has seen such a significant increase in recent years is because of opioid prescription rates. Heroin is also an opioid, so when a person who regularly takes these painkillers but has no access to them, they may turn to heroin to avoid withdrawal symptoms and to eliminate their pain. The trouble is that heroin is not regulated, and it can be mixed with other, more dangerous, drugs.
There was a steady increase in opioid prescribing rates that started in 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of opioid prescriptions peaked in 2012, after opioid prescriptions reached a rate of 81.3 prescriptions per 100 people in the United States. Since then, the use of opioids has decreased because of the opioid crisis.
How Popular Is Heroin Globally?
The global prevalence of opiate drugs, including heroin and opium, was listed at 0.37% of the population in 2017 on a report by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime. Opiate use was highest in Central Asia, Eastern and Southeastern Europe and in the Near and Middle East/Southwest Asia.
Which Demographics Are Most Likely to Use or Abuse Heroin?
To begin with, it’s important for you to understand that the misuse of prescription opioid pain medications such as OxyContin and Vicodin may be the precursor to heroin abuse. Around 4% to 6% of people who misused these drugs went on to use heroin. So, anyone who has been prescribed opioid pain-relief medications could be at risk of heroin abuse.
Teenagers and those with mental health disorders are at a higher risk of misusing opioids and heroin. The demographics most likely to use include:
- Those already struggling with substance abuse
- Males between the ages of 18 and 25
- Those with an annual household income below $20,000
- Those without health insurance coverage
What Is the Public Perception of Heroin and Its Use?
Part of the difficulty of overcoming opioid addiction is public perception. In recent years, legislators have worked hard to create drug addiction treatment programs for inmates and those who end up in the criminal justice system. Although substance abuse treatment resulted in a 61% decrease in deaths in Rhode Island’s prisons, there are still opponents who believe that addiction treatment could enable contraband sales in prisons or propagate addiction.
In New York, officials wanted to open a heroin injection site. It would be supervised, which would help reduce the risk of overdose or infection. Opponents thought this would essentially legalize the use and possession of heroin, even though these sites could help reduce illness and death.
The way heroin and other opioids are being viewed today is changing, and there’s more help available than ever. Heroin is still a hot topic amid the opioid crisis, though.
How Much Does Heroin Use Cost the U.S. Health Care System?
With heroin use reaching epidemic proportions, it does have substantial costs for the U.S. health care system. Heroin use is currently estimated to cost the United States $51.2 billion annually as of 2015.
Get Help If You’re Struggling With Heroin Abuse
These heroin facts show just how dangerous heroin can be. If you’re struggling with heroin abuse and want to help yourself, call us today at FHE Health.
Our substance abuse counselors are here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with any kind of addiction. Call us now at (844) 299-0618.