CDC Releases Frightening Numbers about Heroin
Most of us have lost someone close to us through addiction. Our passion (just like most drug rehab centers) to help others fuels our fire to help those afflicted with addiction. That is why we are so afraid of the current statistics coming from the CDC (Center for Disease Control). We have a national epidemic on our hands and drug treatment is more important than ever.
According to a CDC report released yesterday Heroin deaths have quadrupled in the past 5 years. It says heroin use has increased 63% from 2002 through 2013 across all demographics. This has led to the increase in heroin related deaths. In addition to this the study found that heroin users also ingest other substances, including marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and opioid pain relievers.
The bigger question is how do we accommodate this rapidly growing problem? According to the CDC “States play a key role in addressing heroin use, abuse, dependence, and overdose. States can implement strategies to reduce the abuse of opioid pain relievers, the strongest risk factor for heroin abuse or dependence. They can also improve access and insurance coverage for medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders and expand access and training for naloxone administration to reverse overdoses.” One city taking major steps to reduce this is Gloucester Police Department. The Gloucester Initiative places those who are struggling with addiction into treatment centers rather than jail cells. Under the initiative, a person suffering from the disease of addiction can turn over their remaining drug supply and paraphernalia to the Gloucester Police Department without the threat of arrest. The policy went into effect earlier this month in an effort to address a growing opioid epidemic and to reduce the number of overdoses in Massachusetts.
Also helping the cause is Naloxone (Narcan) it is a pure opioid antagonist. Naloxone is a medication used to counter the effects of opioid especially in overdose. Many police departments are requiring their officers to keep this on them at all times to prevent fatal overdoes.
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