Heroin Addiction & the Opioid Epidemic
The abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers is a serious global problem that affects the health, social, and economic welfare of all societies. It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin.
The Effects of Opioid Epidemic on the United States
The consequences of this abuse have been devastating and are on the rise. For example, the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has soared in the United States, more than quadrupling since 1999. There is also growing evidence to suggest a relationship between increased non-medical use of opioid analgesics and heroin abuse in the United States. In addition, the number of centers for heroin rehab in Utah as well as the rest of the US has increased.
To address the complex problem of prescription opioid and heroin abuse in this country, we must recognize and consider the special character of this phenomenon, for we are asked not only to confront the negative and growing impact of opioid abuse on health and mortality, but also to preserve the fundamental role played by prescription opioid pain relievers in healing and reducing human suffering. That is, scientific insight must strike the right balance between providing maximum relief from suffering while minimizing associated risks and adverse effects.
The Link Between Heroin & Prescription Painkillers
The recent trend of a switch from prescription opioids to heroin seen in some communities in our country alerts us to the complex issues surrounding opioid addiction and the intrinsic difficulties in addressing it through any single measure such as enhanced diversion control (Fig.3). Of particular concern has been the rise in new populations of heroin users, particularly young people.
The emergence of chemical tolerance toward prescribed opioids, perhaps combined in a smaller number of cases with an increasing difficulty in obtaining these medications illegally, may in some instances explain the transition to abuse of heroin, which is cheaper and in some communities easier to obtain than prescription opioids.
Heroin Addiction Treatment at Spirit Mountain Recovery
Heroin addiction can affect people from all walks of life. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction to heroin or opioids, Spirit Mountain Recovery’s private heroin rehab center in Utah is here to help. Contact us today to speak to an admissions expert and verify your insurance.