Overdose Death Rates for Heroin Addiction Struggles

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Heroin addiction is a growing problem in America. Heroin is one of the most addictive forms of drugs on the planet. Unfortunately, many people become addicted to heroin every year. For many of them, the consequences can be fatal.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 143,000 people in the United States died from overdosing on heroin between 1999 and 2020. The number of deaths from a heroin overdose was seven times higher in the year 2020 than it was in 1999.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is a drug that is manufactured from a flower, called the opium poppy. This flower grows in parts of South America, Asia, and Mexico. It is an extremely addictive drug that has been banned in the United States.

Heroin looks either white or brown when it is manufactured. It comes in powder form. There are times when it may look sticky and black.

Heroin goes by several different street names. It is often called:

  • Brown sugar
  • Junk
  • Smack

Whatever the name used, it is still filled with the same highly addictive substance that can destroy lives.

Heroin Use

Those who are addicted to heroin can often be identified by the needle marks on their hands. This is because the main way in which heroin is used is by injection into the veins. 

This is by far the most dangerous way to take heroin and it often results in overdose and sometimes death. A lot of people opt instead to smoke or snort heroin which is less dangerous but is still highly addictive. 

Heroin affects the brain rapidly. This is why it is so easy to get addicted to it. Even after just one use, it can present a problem where the abuser craves the drug.

Prescription Drugs and Heroin

Heroin users have been on the rise since 2007. One reason why heroin has become more abused is that there are prescription painkillers available that are also made from the same plant.

When people become addicted to these painkillers they may want to have access to them continuously. Fortunately, prescription medication does not work that way. However, this may send them in search of a cheaper and stronger high.

This is one of the main factors that contributed to an almost 400 percent rise in heroin deaths between 2010 and 2017.

This is why if possible these types of painkillers should be avoided. They often require detoxification to stop addiction.

Why Does Heroin Addiction Often Prove Fatal?

Heroin addiction is sometimes fatal and it. It is important to look at the side effects of heroin to understand why an overdose can sometimes be lethal.

Heroin has short-term effects as well as long-term effects. The short-term effects of heroin are a dry mouth, upset stomach, and vomiting. A person who is on heroin may experience brain fog and drowsiness. They may regularly nod off to sleep when they are sitting. You may also notice flushed skin and an extremely dry mouth.

These symptoms are uncomfortable and are not necessarily leading to fatality. However, other symptoms are more serious. 

Long-term use of heroin can cause veins to collapse. It can cause infections of the lining of the heart as well. Lung diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia are also possible with long-term use of heroin. 

With symptoms such as these, it is not hard to see how overdose is not the only factor that can lead to fatality from using heroin. Heroine disrupts the natural processes of the body and can cause several diseases that can eventually lead to death.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction 

Going into drug rehab for heroin addiction is a must. It is very difficult to stop using heroin on your own. 

It is a highly addictive drug that requires professional help to minimize withdrawal symptoms and to get abusers of the drug in a mindset where they will work on becoming drug-free. At the Robert Alexander center for recovery, we pride ourselves on being a drug treatment center where  you can get the personalized treatment you need in a supportive environment to help recover from heroin addiction. 

The addiction treatment program is customized especially for your needs. This means your length of addiction, your current state of health and mind will be taken into consideration when creating a plan for you. 
If you’re ready to start drug treatment to get on the road to recovery then contact us today so that we can discuss how we can get you back up on the right path.