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The Rise of Heroin Use in the U.S.

Drug detox and rehabilitation centers have recently seen a dramatic rise in patients suffering from heroin addiction in Boca Raton. In fact, heroin-related deaths have nearly quadrupled since 2002, and use of the dangerous drug has increased by nearly 70%. Especially concerning is the fact that populations that have historically reported low drug use are not exempt from the trend. Read on to find out who is using heroin, why drug use is climbing, and how you can protect your loved ones from this drug.

Who Is Using Heroin?

96% of people who reported using heroin also reported using at least one other drug. A majority of heroin users report concurrent use of three or more drugs, including alcohol, cocaine, oxycodone, and benzodiazepine. While heroin addiction is commonly thought of as a problem of the urban poor, detox centers now report that a wide range of patients of many different ages and socio-economic classes suffer from drug addiction. The Center for Disease Control found that heroin use has significantly increased across all demographic use. Heroin use among women has doubled among both women and Caucasians, both formerly thought to be underrepresented groups.

Why Is Heroin More Prevalent Today?

The largest increase in heroin use was seen among users of opioid pain relievers, leading medical experts to hypothesize that prescription drug use is largely to blame. As prescription pain relievers have become more available over the past decade, heroin use has concurrently climbed. At the same time, there has been a surge in heroin production and trafficking from Mexico. With a new population with an affinity for opiates and cheap heroin flooding across the border, it is perhaps unsurprising that more and more people report to detox facilities with addictions.

How Can Society Fight the Heroin Upswing?

To reduce drug abuse and reverse patterns of addiction, the CDC has recommended focusing on both heroin and opioid pain reliever abuse. For example, improving how opioids are prescribed and identifying problematic abuse early on could help many people avoid addiction. To treat those who are already addicted, many physicians also recommend increasing treatment options.