Heroin is an opioid drug, and has been around since the end of the 1800s. A pharmaceutical company in Germany created heroin. Its initial and intended use was as a medication to treat tuberculosis. In 1924, the Heroin Act was introduced, and it made the manufacturing, distributing, and possessing of heroin illegal. Since then, heroin has continued to be produced, illegally. It is made from the resin of poppy plants. Due to the fact that it is illegal to manufacture, there are no federal regulations in place on the drug. The potency and purity are left up to each individual producer, and vary with each individual batch. This can create huge discrepancies and provides a high possibility for overdose.
Facts and Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that in the past five years, there has been an overall 33 percent rise of opioid drug use in America. However, if broken down into respective states, some states’ percentages have risen larger than five times that number. For example, the rise of opioid use in New Hampshire in the past five years has risen 191 percent.
The New York Daily News asserted that in 2016, there were more than 52,000 deaths related to drug overdose in the United States.
It has been reported that in America, in the last ten years, the relapse rate in heroin-addicted individuals has been as high as 90 percent.
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 10,574 heroin overdoses in the United States of America.
In 2013, there were a reported 4,812,000 individuals who had used heroin in the United States.
3,635 deaths were reported, in 2012, in America that were linked to the use and/or abuse of heroin.
The findings from the 2007, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, indicated that there were 153,000 current heroin users in the United States.
The number of teenagers in America, ages twelve to seventeen, who had used heroin at some point in their lives, raised 300 percent from the year 1995 to the year 2002.
In 1903, the rates of heroin addiction increasing exponentially, and soon after the United States outlawed the importation of opium, with its first federal drug prohibition. This was done partially with a hope for a decline in the availability of heroin and a lowering of heroin addiction. In 1914, further legislation was passed with another act, called the Harrison Narcotics Act. This set in place a requirement of registering and paying a tax for all medical professionals prescribing narcotics. Again, attempting to dissuade the abuse of drugs. Subsequently, many other laws were set in place to try and get a handle on the drug abuse issues in America. In 1973, President Nixon created the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is still in place today.
There have been, and continue to be, many attempts to help eradicate the drug addiction epidemic in America. Most recently, the Secretary of Health and Human Services announced a new initiative, in March of 2015, named the Secretary’s Opioid Initiative. With the intention to help fight against opioid abuse in the US, this initiative is targeted for the use of heroin in addition to prescription opioid drug abuse. The top three components of this initiative are as follows: to provide larger access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, to increase the availability of Naloxone, the overdose-reversal drug, and to created modifications surrounding opioid prescribing practices within the medical field.
Addiction to heroin has been noted to be one of the most severe drug addictions. The detoxification and rehabilitation from heroin addiction is a long and grueling process. It has been reported that heroin addicts relapse anywhere from eight to ten times before maintaining sobriety. Heroin and cocaine are amongst the most addictive of drugs. One of the effects of heroin is that it depresses one’s respiratory system. This shift in one’s body creates a much larger possibility for overdose and death. If an individual is struggling with heroin abuse and/or addiction it is imperative for him or her to seek help immediately. Drug addiction is a serious, and sometimes fatal disease.
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