Heroin Addiction: How Common Is It in the United States?

August 19, 2021

Drug abuse, specifically heroin addiction, is a serious issue that has swept the nation, affecting thousands and thousands of people.

Heroin is an extremely dangerous opioid that poses serious risks for addiction and overdose to its users. Whether injected, sniffed, snorted, or smoked, heroin quickly binds to the opioid receptors in your brain, giving a euphoric and tremendously addictive high. According to the Addiction Center, nearly 25% of people who try heroin will become addicted. As you can see, the opioid epidemic is a major crisis, and the United States is not exempt.

Continue reading to learn more about heroin addiction in the United States.

Heroin Addiction in the United States

While the use of heroin fluctuates from year to year, there is an overall increase over the last ten years in the United States. One major factor in this increase is a result of the transition from people using opioids to heroin. Over 90% of addicts reported they switched from prescription opioid drugs to heroin because prescription drugs are significantly more expensive and are more difficult to get.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports that in 2016, nearly 950,000 US citizens said they had used heroin in the last year, a number that has been growing since 2007. This number is primarily driven by Americans aged 18-25. The number of people using the addictive drug for the first time is shockingly high, with more than 170,000 people beginning to use it in 2016, which is nearly twice the number of those in 2006. On the other hand, heroin use among teens aged 12 to 17 has declined. These numbers are at their lowest levels since the early ‘90s at less than 1% in each grade.

In decades past, heroin use was largely and predominantly used in urban areas. This is no longer the case as more and more suburban and rural communities report increasing cases of heroin use and seized drugs by officials. The number of overdose deaths in these areas is also on the rise.

Because heroin use is growing, more and more Americans are experiencing the adverse health effects of the drug that occur after frequent and repeat use. Thankfully, the number of those people abusing heroin that are seeking treatment is also on the rise. Nearly 26% of people aged 18-25 are getting the help they need, which is 11% higher than in 2008.

Heroin Overdose Information in the United States

The potential of overdosing from heroin is a sad reality for its users. Close to 15,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2018 involving heroin in the U.S., which is a rate of almost five deaths for every 100,000 Americans. While overall decreases in overdose deaths involving heroin were seen, the number of fatalities is still more than seven times greater in 2018 than there were in 1999. Close to a third of all opioid-related deaths involve heroin.

Contact Steps Recovery Centers in Utah

Unfortunately, heroin addiction is something that is extremely prevalent in the United States.

If you or someone you know is addicted to heroin and wants help, contact the experienced team at Steps Recovery Centers. With facilities across the state of Utah, from Salt Lake City, down to St. George, we can help those on their path to recovery with customizable treatments tailored to their specific needs and situation. Recovering and detoxing from substance abuse is a challenging journey that should not be handled alone. Our knowledgeable and trusted staff will guide you through this process and give you the medical and psychological support you need. For more information about heroin addiction and recovery, contact us today.

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