The Heroin Abuse Epidemic

By Published On: March 16th, 2016Categories: Opiates, Teen and Young Adult Substance Abuse

It is clear to many that heroin abuse has become epidemic among young people. This is true across the country. Far too often we hear stories of a young person who once possessed unlimited potential  succumbing to opiate abuse and eventually death from an overdose. The statistics are undeniable. Some highlights include:

  • an estimated 2.1 people in the U.S.suffering from substance abuse disorders related to opioid pain relievers (2012)
  • an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin (2012)
  • the total number of accidental overdose deaths from heroin have more than quadrupled in ten years

The Heroin Abuse EpidemicThese are just some of the statistical features. The reality is that the problem continues to get worse. Many want to focus on the illegal drug trade or immigration, which is fine. These are not our areas of expertise. We will focus on how the problem directly impacts young people and their families. Over the next several weeks we will post articles that will hopefully explain some of what happens and potential solutions.

What Works, What Doesn’t

Heroin addicts do not have as much success in treatment. The success rate of any program will be negatively impacted as a facility begins to treat more heroin addicts. If you review the Insight Program stats on our homepage you will notice a decline in the success rate between 2007 and 2013. There are a number of reasons for this. Perhaps the biggest explanation is that heroin addicts are acutely aware of the immediate impact of using their drug of choice. Along with the physical addiction to the drug, which is intense, they also become addicted to the deep level of emotional control.The program hasn’t become less effective, we have been treating an increasing number of heroin addicts. We work daily as a staff to improve our ability to reach these suffering individuals.  There is no “quick fix” for an opiate addict. Treatment of heroin addiction requires a tremendous amount of time and patience. If you are the parent of a child with a heroin addiction please leave comments along with what you have been able to do as a parent to support recovery in your family.

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About the Author

Clint Stonebraker has worked in the substance abuse treatment field since 1987 and has been the owner of The Insight Program since 1993. Clint Stonebraker has overseen the expansion of Insight into Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh North Carolina as well as growth in the Atlanta area. Clint is committed to providing quality care to individuals and families affected by substance abuse.