U.S. Deadly Heroin Epidemic Reaches New Heights
Posted by feww on July 9, 2015
Heroin Addiction more than doubled among young adults ages 18–25 in 10 years: CDC
Heroin addiction and related overdose deaths are climbing in the U.S. In 2013, an average of 2.6 people—3.6 male and 1.6 female—per 1,000, or a total of about 800,000 people across the nation, were addicted to the deadly opioid drug, with 2.9 people per 100,000 killed by overdose, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The number of male heroin-addicts in the U.S. increased by 50% from 2.4 to 3.6 per 1,000 people, and the female from 0.8 to 1.6 (up 100%), between the period 2002-2004 and 2011-2013.
Heroin use has more than doubled among young adults ages 18–25 in the past decade, while overdose related deaths have soared to 8,200—a threefold jump—in just three years (2010–2013).
Heroin use has increased across the US among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. Some of the greatest increases occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes. Not only are people using heroin, they are also abusing multiple other substances, especially cocaine and prescription opioid painkillers. As heroin use has increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths. Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people died in 2013. States play a central role in prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts for this growing epidemic. —CDC
According to the report:
- The heroin-related overdose death rate increased 286% from 2002 to 2013.
- The heroin-related overdose death rate increased from 1.0 to 2.7 persons between 2010 and 2013.
- The main drivers of heroin epidemic are non-Hispanic whites, women and wealthy people.
- Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people died in 2013.
Heroin use is part of a larger substance abuse problem
- Nearly all people who used heroin also used at least 1 other drug. Most used at least 3 other drugs.
- Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug with a high risk of overdose and death for users.
- People who are addicted to…
- Alcohol are 2 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.
- Marijuana are 3 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.
- Cocaine are 15 times more likely to become addicted to heroin..
- Prescription opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.
SOURCE: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2011-2013.
SOURCE: Multiple Cause of Death Files from the National Vital Statistics System, 2002-2013.
SOURCE: CDC Vitalsigns, July 2015
Where does the heroin come from?
Heroine is manufactured from Opium. About 90% of the world’s heroin originates in Afghanistan. The deadly drug has a market value of about $70 billion, with a worldwide captive audience of 25 million addicts. Heroin is killing more than 1 million people each year (conservative estimates).
About 10 kilograms of opium is used to manufacture one kilogram of heroin.
Based on recent data on the morphine content of Afghan opium, the heroin conversion ratio, which describes the amount of opium needed to produce a kilogram of heroin, has been updated. For converting opium to pure heroin base, a ratio of 18.5:1 is estimated; for heroin of export quality [impure heroin of 52% purity with morphine content 12.3% in the opium and 34% laboratory efficiency,] a ratio of 9.6:1 [9.1:1 to 10.2:1] is estimated. —UNODC
In 2007, Afghanistan cultivated 193,000 hectares of opium poppies, and favorable weather conditions helped produce opium yields of 42.5 kg per hectare compared with 37.0 kg/ha previous year, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“As a result, in 2007 Afghanistan produced an extraordinary 8,200 tons of opium (34% more than in 2006), becoming practically the exclusive supplier of the world’s deadliest drug (93% of the global opiates market). Leaving aside 19th century China, that had a population at that time 15 times larger than today’s Afghanistan, no other country in the world has ever produced narcotics on such a deadly scale.”
In 2013, The Drug Enforcement Administration seized a total of 2,196 kilograms of heroin in the U.S., up from about 500 kilograms annually between 2002-2008.
In the same year, coalition forces seized about 41,000 kilograms of opium out of about 5,500,000 kilograms produced in Afghanistan, and destroyed a tiny fraction of poppy fields in the country.
In 2014, Afghanistan’s poppy cultivation increased 7 percent, to a record 224,000 (200,000-250,500) hectares; however, the yield was lower than the 2007 record crop year due to poor weather. Potential opium production was estimated at 6,400 metric tons, an increase of17% on 2013 production (5,500 tons), while total eradication of opium poppy decreased by 63%, to only 2,692 hectares, according to UNODC.
[Afghanistan national average price of dry opium, weighted by regional production, was US$133/kg in 2014, down 23% from previous year.]