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Heroin in the News: Why Is It Still So Popular?

The deadly lure of heroin claimed yet another life earlier this month as Oscar-winning Best Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died from a heroin overdose. His 23-year sobriety was not strong enough to fight off the addictive clutches and demons of the popular street and party drug.

The public as a whole is aware of the dangers of heroin, which begs the question: Why are so many people still taking it?

Heroin Use on the Rise

Heroin use continues to be on the rise around the nation, as it has been over the last decade. This opiate has become a popular party drug. An estimated 9.2 million people worldwide admit to using heroin.

The drug, which was once an urban legend, is now readily found in the suburbs and rural areas of the country. There are 900,000 Americans using heroin.

Heroin is still popular for the following reasons:

  • The drug supply is readily available with increased importation from Latin America
  • It is easily accessible on the street and on college campuses around the U.S. The drug is not only flooding into major cities, but also into suburbs and rural areas of the country.
  • General overuse of prescription painkillers drive up the use of opioids; 3.6% of people who abuse prescription painkillers go on to use heroin.
  • The cost is on the decline making heroin very affordable. On the streets, it is far cheaper than narcotic prescription drugs.
  • A purer form of the drug, than previously available, makes the craved heroin high easier to attain through snorting and smoking, not just injecting.
  • Heroin cravings can last for years after stopping the drug. Relapses are triggered by stress, people, places and things associated with the drug and drug use.

Heroin deaths have increased, in a direct response to the increased use of the deadly drug.

Who’s Using Heroin?

Heroin users are varied and diverse. Heroin addiction is a widespread problem for society. The newest group of users is teens and those in their early 20s, making the college population very vulnerable. There are also many long-time users who fall into the older middle-age population. Families in the middle to upper middle class living in America’s suburbs have family members who abuse heroin.

The Addiction Trap

The purity and true strength of heroin is difficult to know because many toxic ingredients are often mixed with the drug. The fact of the matter is that, across the board, heroin is stronger and more potent than it once was.

Heroin tolerance develops quickly. Typically, users need more heroin to achieve the same high after a short period of regular drug use. This cycle quickly leads to addiction. Many people need to seek out help from drug rehab or detox centers for aid in quitting this highly addictive drug.


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