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US Heroin OD Rate Nearly Tripled From 2010-13, Government Report Released Today Says

By Beenthere2Hippie, Mar 4, 2015 | Updated: Mar 4, 2015 | | |
  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Heroin overdose deaths in the United States nearly tripled from 2010 to 2013, according to a federal study released on Wednesday.

    Although the study, conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, did not look at the reason for the sharp increase, earlier work hinted at a link to prescription painkillers: in a study released last fall, the CDC found that 75 percent of people who started using heroin after 2000 said they first abused prescription opioids.

    The users said heroin was easier to get, cheaper, and more potent, causing them to switch.

    The new study found that the rate of heroin-related overdoses increased from 1 per 100,000 people in 2010 to 2.7 per 100,000 in 2013, for a total that year of 8,257 people, or nearly 23 per day, with the highest rates in the Northeast and Midwest.

    Although twice as many people died that year from overdosing on prescription opioids, the death rate from overdoses of Oxycontin, Percocet, and other opioid pain relievers has leveled off, CDC reported, while that from heroin is rising.

    As recently as 2010, middle-aged blacks had the highest rates of heroin deaths. But in 2013, whites aged 18 to 44 had the highest death rates, with 7 fatalities per 100,000 people, the CDC found. The death rate for men was nearly four times that for women.

    To combat the rise of heroin-related overdose deaths, the CDC suggested measures including drug screenings and the increased availability of naloxone, a drug that can rapidly reverse the effects of an overdose.

    Although more and more police departments are carrying the drug in order to save people from overdoses, state and local governments have criticized manufacturer Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc for raising the price.

    On Wednesday, the Ohio attorney general announced that Amphastar had agreed to give a $6 rebate for every dose of the drug purchased by state and local agencies in Ohio in the next year.

    Reuters/March 4, 2015
    Graph: thedailymail
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Waiting For The Fall
    Re: US Heroin OD Rate Nearly Tripled From 2010-13, Government Report Released Today S

    When the DEA moved hydrocodone from Schedule III to Schedule II back in October, 2014, it would most likely have an impact of more people using heroin. As the article pointed out, heroin is easier to get, cheaper and more potent. We can look for heroin deaths in succeeding years to go even higher.
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    Re: US Heroin OD Rate Nearly Tripled From 2010-13, Government Report Released Today S

    Good point. I agree with you since the correlation between the law change and the stats that bear it out.
  3. idfma
    Re: US Heroin OD Rate Nearly Tripled From 2010-13, Government Report Released Today S

    So, the obvious answer to this growing problem is to just move hydrocodone to Schedule I, and start putting anyone who uses it in jail, even if they have a prescription. Maybe the hospital could just call the police when they discharge folks.

    Better yet, since Walgreens/corporate pharmacies are already an extension of the DEA, they can make the call, when someone shows up to fill a prescription for any opiate--we all know they will end up using heroin anyway, right? Why stop at hydrocodone? Fuck this innocent until proven guilty bullshit--that's just inefficient.

    It's time to get all pre-emptive up in here. That should fix the problem.

    Somebody really needs to start refocusing the DEA's priorities. I know this is just one example, but they have way too much power to decide criminal matters. They are an executive agency, not a legislative one, but their administrative power to change the availability and criminality of any drugs really blurs that line.

    A really interesting study would be a comparison of how many lives are ruined from using opiates to how many lives are ruined for being incarcerated because of using/possessing opiates. I know it would be hard to separate the two, but that's kind of the point. Maybe we should just see what taking the DEA/LE out of this equation would do for the health and well-being of everyone.

    Yeah, some people would still probably fuck their lives up, but that sure would be an interesting experiment. Make this stuff available (especially to people who need it, obviously) to anyone and everyone, and see if the cost to society goes up or down, once you take DEA/LE out of the picture.

    The savings on incarceration alone would be staggering, I'd wager. The bonus would be we would get to actually see what the world is like when pigs fly!
  4. Cwb20022
    Re: US Heroin OD Rate Nearly Tripled From 2010-13, Government Report Released Today S

    The biggest reason for the spike in heroin overdoses. And a level of other opiates. Was the change from oxycontin into the new formula. That's why more young white males are overdosing to. Alot were abusing oxycontin a few years back. And then they switched the formula. And they moved to a better cheaper easily accessible drug. It sucks. But i know around here we went from a "pill epidemic". To a "heroin epidemic" overnight. Although that's not why i switched to heroin.

    My town's police just started carrying naloxone. Unfortunately i can name a bunch of people that have overdosed in the past few months. And im in a town of about 2000.
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