A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) details the increase in heroin use and overdose deaths across all demographics in the U.S. As reported in The Associated Press:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Tuesday. It’s based on annual face-to-face surveys of about 67,000 Americans — the government’s main source of data on use of illegal drugs.
In recent surveys, nearly 3 in every 1,000 Americans said they used heroin in the previous year. That’s up from under 2 per 1,000 about a decade ago, a 62 percent increase which translates to hundreds of thousands more people, government researchers said.
The findings mirror trends seen in earlier reports, which noted marked increases in heroin use in people who are white and living outside of major cities, said Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University epidemiologist who researches drug abuse issues.
Additionally, as reported on The Hill:
“Heroin use is increasing at an alarming rate in many parts of society, driven by both the prescription opioid epidemic and cheaper, more available heroin,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement.
Frieden said it would require an “all-of-society” effort to halt the epidemic, including a push “to improve opioid prescribing practices to prevent addiction, expand access to effective treatment for those who are addicted, increase use of naloxone to reverse overdoses, and work with law enforcement partners like DEA to reduce the supply of heroin.”
Heroin overdose deaths have quadrupled from 2002 to 2013, and doubled between 2011 and 2013 alone, according to the study.
“Approximately 120 people die each day in the United States of a drug overdose,” added Drug Enforcement Administration acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “We will continue to target the criminal gangs that supply heroin, and we will work to educate folks about the dangers and to reduce demand.”