When we talk about an “epidemic,” we often think of it as something that doesn’t affect all of us. Regarding the heroin epidemic, in particular, it’s tempting to think of it as a problem relegated to specific groups. But the numbers say otherwise. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin use is increasing across every sector of our society. This means that every age group and every social class is seeing an increase.
Interestingly, some of the most significant rises have been among groups with historically low rates of heroin use. These groups include women and the wealthy, among others. And this is why using the term “heroin epidemic” is entirely appropriate.
Causes of the Heroin Epidemic
Researchers agree that the current heroin epidemic is rooted in the increase in opioid use in America. A fairly standard story goes something like this. After an accident, your doctor prescribes a strong synthetic opioid to help you manage your pain. Examples of commonly prescribed opioids are fentanyl, oxycodone, and codeine, among others. After your medical treatment has finished, your doctor does not refill your prescription. But you have developed a dependence on the opioid painkiller. Perhaps you continue your dependence by getting other doctors to write you prescriptions. Or maybe you begin to purchase them illegally. Eventually, however, you discover that heroin is widely available and, in many cases, less expensive than opioids. And so your heroin dependency begins.
Sadly, stories like the one above are all too common. According to a 2018 study, upwards of 80% of heroin users reported habitually using prescription opioids before using heroin. And the trend does not appear to be reversing any time soon.
Solutions to the Heroin Epidemic
As is the case when looking for a solution for all epidemics, it’s often unclear where to start. One answer, however, is clear. Because of the link between the heroin epidemic and opioid use, good addiction treatment centers play a crucial role. The fact is, users of prescription opioid painkillers are a startling 40 times more likely to move to heroin. By treating addictive behaviors before they result in this kind of shift, we at New Bridge Foundation believe we can make a change.
The best solution to a problem like the heroin epidemic in America is prevention. But whether you have an addiction that could lead to heroin, or a heroin addiction itself, we can help. Some of the programs that we offer are:
- Medical detoxification
- Short-term residential rehab (Helios)
- Short-term outpatient rehab (Helios)
- Long-term residential treatment (START)
- Specialized programs in CA to target individual needs
Contact New Bridge Foundation Today
At New Bridge Foundation, our programs are designed to be tailored to the individual. Our individual and group counseling, our family support programs, as well as our free aftercare for life, have a proven track record.
If you are struggling with an addiction of any kind, you are at risk. And your current situation isn’t all that poses a threat; the risk of escalating to a drug like heroin is a real possibility. If you have found this page, it is likely that you are worried.