Heroin and prescription opiate deaths are becoming more and more prevalent in the United States. This is not to say that they have not been around, rather more people are using them, and there are more deaths getting more attention via media. There are many causes to the increase of overdose deaths in regards to heroin and prescription opiates. Along with the risk of overdose, the quality of life of people who are in addiction rapidly deteriorates when they lose control of their usage. There have been several previous attempts at trying to “fix” the heroin overdose, and use problems, that have not seemed to work. The United States is now trying to find new ways of combating the problems at hand.
For the last few years, heroin use and overdoses have seemed to skyrocket. The cause of the increase was not from people a bunch of people one day just picking up some heroin and using it. According to The Nation’s Health publication by Krisberg (2016), the rise of heroin is because it is filling the gap that has been created from restricting easy access to prescription painkillers. So while attempting to stop the overdoses on prescription opiates, they unknowingly opened a whole new door for people addicted to the opiates. Heroin is a readily available drug on the streets that is cheaper and easier to get than prescription opiates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016), three out of four people abused prescription opiates before starting to use heroin. So now begs the question, if all of these people have been abusing drugs, how come all of the sudden, the overdose rate has increased?
One of the biggest changes I have personally seen from the heroin overdose rate increase is the drugs being laced with the...
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...ponent of the new opioid harm reduction initiative is to expand naloxone access to high-risk individuals,” this initiative is making Naloxone far more accessible than it has been in the past (Wermeling, 2015). It is also carried on ambulances, in hospitals and other facilities that have a high potential to come into contact with overdose victims.
While no one thing will cure addiction and overdose deaths in the United States, progress is slowly being made as we learn what to do, and how to help those who are struggling with addiction. People are becoming more and more educated on addiction and the disease concept which could work as a preventative measure of addiction. The more we learn, the more we can help prevent people from becoming addicts by limiting the amount of narcotic medications they are receiving from doctors and using other methods of pain management.
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