The heroin epidemic continues to grow in the United States.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 3.8% and 4.2% of the entire population of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico uses opioids, with heroin accounting for half of that use. The production and use of heroin has tripled over the last three decades. A full 68% of the world’s 13.5 million opioid takers use heroin. That is a lot of people nodding out every day all over the globe.
Heroin abuse is not only rampant among the big cities across the country, but it is also hitting smaller communities and towns.
Here is a short list of some of the areas with the highest known heroin abuse:
- Vermont – The tiny state of Vermont has a huge drug problem. It has one of the highest rate of illicit drug use on the country according the surveys from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Part of the problem is drug trafficking from out of state drug dealers. Vermont is on the highway between Montreal and the big cities of the northeast such as Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. State governor Peter Shumlin said Vermont has seen a 770% increase in treatment of opiate addictions since 2000.
- West Virginia – Deaths from heroin overdose increased by 53% in 2012 and keep rising.
- Baltimore – Baltimore was cited as the “heroin capital” by a report by the Drug Enforcement Agency in 2000. Things have not gotten much better since then. The DEA says, “Baltimore is home to higher numbers of heroin addicts and incidents of heroin related crime than almost any other city in the nation.” According to a report in February by the HIDTA, one in every 10 residents of the city uses heroin in some way. Baltimore became a key distribution point for high purity South American heroin. People think it is safer because it is purer, but it is substantially more addictive and highly deadly.
- Delaware – Delaware ranks as one of the states with the highest heroin abuse.
- Philadelphia – Potent, cheap South American heroin made its way to Philly. In 2012, the number of overdose deaths exceeded deaths from gunshot wounds.
- New Jersey – Counties large and small across New Jersey have seen a major increase in the number of overdose deaths in the past few years. In Ocean County alone, the number of overdose deaths doubled from 2012 to 2013.
- New Hampshire – New Hampshire has one of the nation’s highest addiction rates.
- New Mexico – Espanola, NM is up there with the highest numbers of heroin abuse in the country.
- Midwest – Heroin use in the Midwest has soared aver the past decade.
The White House has acknowledged the epidemic and made a budget of $5 million to combat heroin use and drug trafficking.
The plan followed months of warnings from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention about the increasing use of heroin in the U.S. The Obama administration committed over $10 billion more for drug education programs and support for expanding access to treatment. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, “prescription drug use is the country’s fastest growing drug problem,” and has been classified as an epidemic. Many users go from pain medications to heroin because it is cheaper.
The problem of substance abuse has entered into many areas of public policy, from stricter border security to updated plans in the health and criminal justice systems. The amount of heroin seized at the border quadrupled by 2013 from the 2000’s. This steadily increasing influx has made heroin not only more accessible, but cheaper and purer, thus the rise in overdose deaths.
According to this map, the highest use of heroin across the states falls mostly in the northeastern section of the country.
Opioid drug use and heroin have caused more deaths than alcohol or any other drug over the past decade. States across the nation have imposed laws for the use of Naloxone to save lives.
If you or someone you love is in the grips of a heroin addiction, help is right around the corner. Get help as soon as possible before your life slips away from you, please contact us at (888) 909-7989.
Mak, T. (2015, August 10). First in Heroin, First in the Nation to Vote. Retrieved February, 2016.