We’ve known about the dangers of heroin use for quite some time now, and a recent study put together by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) confirmed that local law enforcement understands just how deadly the highly addictive the drug heroin can be.
This survey is conducted by the DEA every year and includes over 1,100 tribal, local and state law enforcement agencies across the country. The most recent study reported that 38 percent of those who responded listed heroin as the “greatest threat” to their communities compared to just 10 percent who listed cocaine, the former top dog on the list, as the greatest threat.
Cocaine used to be the biggest concern, but that narrative has dramatically shifted since the 2007 study showed that 40 percent of the local law enforcement who responded called it the “greatest threat.” Back then, heroin only gathered 8 percent of the votes. A big reason for the change according to the DEA is that heroin:
“is available in larger quantities, used by a larger number of people, and is causing an increasing number of overdose deaths.”
The report touches on issues like the increasing purity of the product and the addition of dangerous and powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl. But as dangerous as heroin may be, it pales in comparison to the threat associated with prescription opiates. According to the report, more than 120 people in the United States die of a drug overdose every day, and the vast majority of those people succumbed to prescription drugs.
“In particular, the number of deaths attributable to controlled prescription drugs (CPDs) has outpaced those for cocaine and heroin combined. Additionally, some opioid CPD abusers are initiating heroin use, which contributes to the increased demand for and use of heroin. For these reasons, CPDs and heroin are ranked as the most significant drug threats to the United States.”
Only 15 percent of the people who responded to the DEA’s survey listed CPDs as the greatest threat, down from the 28 percent reported in 2013. At Schick Shadel Hospital, we understand the dangers and struggles addicts, no matter their vice, face on a daily basis. Over the past 80 plus years, we have helped more than 80,000 people regain control of their lives and break free from their addiction. If you are ready to take the next step, give us a call at (800) 272-8464 to learn more about what we can do for you, or send us a confidential message through our online form.