What Are Heroin Use Statistics in the United States?

If you get to know the heroin use statistics, you’ll be better informed ensuring you make the best decision when it comes to addiction

Heroin is an opiate drug that works on receptors in the brain known to relieve pain and cause feelings of euphoria when a person uses the drug. A person can use heroin by injecting, snorting, or smoking the drug. Unfortunately, heroin use statistics in the United States are on the rise. Several potential reasons for this epidemic exist. One is the increasing problem with prescription opioids. When a person no longer has access to painkillers, they may turn to heroin because it is more widely available and usually lower in cost. Those who abuse prescription painkillers are 40 times more likely to abuse heroin than the general public. As painkiller addiction has continued to rise, so has heroin use and abuse.

Heroin has grown to be such a problem that it affects those of all gender, socioeconomic statuses, and cultures. According to U.S. News & World Report, the most common group that abuses heroin are males, ages 18 to 25 years old. They are non-Hispanic whites who live in large, metropolitan areas. While heroin addiction and abuse used to affect males in their 40s, the epidemic has now affected younger persons. Americans ages 18 to 25 have increased their heroin usage by 109 percent while Americans age 26 and older have increased their use by 58 percent.

What Are Heroin Use Statistics?

According to U.S. News & World Report, an increasing number of deaths from heroin are occurring in the United States. Heroin overdose-related deaths have increased by 286 percent from 2002 to 2013. When a person abuses heroin, the drug’s effects can cause a person’s breathing to slow or stop altogether. If they cannot get enough oxygen into their brain, then a person can overdose and die. If a person does get treatment in time to save their life, they can still face brain damage, lung infections, and other problems due to their drug abuse.

In addition to heroin death statistics due to using an excess amount of heroin, a person can also experience long-term health effects due to chronic heroin abuse. Examples include the increased risk of contracting a disease from sharing needles or re-using needles. Examples include HIV and hepatitis. Heroin use can lead to increased risk for cardiac infections, known as endocarditis, as well as greater incidences of pneumonia and other lung infections. All of these factors can cut a person’s life all too short when they abuse heroin.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 213,118 emergency department visits annually are due to heroin use. Those ages 21 to 24 are more likely to seek emergency medical attention for their heroin abuse. An estimated 43,110 people abused heroin and alcohol simultaneously and then sought emergency medical attention. Combining these substances can increase the likelihood that a person will experience an adverse event, such as death or severe health complications.

Additional Heroin Use Statistics

According to CBS and report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, heroin is the deadliest drug abused worldwide. Heroin use has not only impacted those in the United States, it has also caused increased numbers of deaths in Western and Central Europe.

An estimated 14.1 percent of all drug treatment admissions in the United States are related to heroin use, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. However, the number of people who seek drug treatment are much fewer than the number of people who are addicted to heroin.

To learn more about heroin abuse and addiction treatment, please call WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our experts are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help a person who needs help and advice related to addiction help.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.