What is heroin?
Heroin is one of the world’s most powerfully addictive and dangerous drugs in the world. It is a semi-synthetic opioid that is synthesized from morphine and is used as an analgesic (painkiller). It is extremely popular as a recreational drug and the frequent, regular use of it results in tolerance build-up and physical dependency very quickly. It was first synthesized for use by physicians in 1874, but the cultivation of the opium poppy from which it is derived was occurring as long ago as 3,400 BC in Lower Mesopotamia.
Today, there are very few drugs that have so many potential emotional, mental, and physical hazards associated with them as what heroin does. Additionally, there are also financial, legal, and social consequences to deal with when a person gets addicted to the drug. Ironically, there is very little that is known about heroin addiction outside of the field of treatment and recovery.
Heroin abuse and addiction statistics
Heroin has been rated by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse as one of the world’s most dangerous and powerfully addictive drugs. Here are some facts and statistics about the drug:
- 10 years ago, there were more traffic fatalities than deaths from heroin abuse – today it is about equal
- There are nearly 90,000 visits to hospital ER’s every year that are heroin-associated
- Although 90% of the world’s heroin supply originates in Afghanistan, over 65% comes into the US from South America and nearly 20% enters the country from across the Mexican border
- Since 2000, the number of heroin-associated ER visits has increased between 8% and 10% annually
- The chronic heroin addict will spend anywhere from $150 to $200 every day to support their habit
- 80% of all heroin users typically inject with a partner – ironically, 80% of all heroin addicts usually die alone
It is unknown as to how many actual heroin addicts there are in the US. However, as of last December, there were over 2 million known cocaine, crack, and heroin users in the country.
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