Heroin’s rising death toll across the United States shows just how far this deadly drug reaches. In the past, the street drug was found mostly in major inner cities, but in recent years, the heroin epidemic has spread throughout suburbs across the U.S. The use of heroin has become a replacement for opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin, after the push to end these prescription drugs. In a study from 2014, it was found that over 900,000 Americans had used heroin over the past year while approximately 300,000 users were admitted for substance abuse treatment. Unfortunately, not everyone will get the treatment they need and in 2013 alone, more than 8,200 people died due to a heroin overdose.
The heroin epidemic sweeping across the nation has caused the DEA to declare heroin as the top drug threat in the United States. To get a better look at the impact of heroin in real time, Heroin.net created a table that charts the rates of emergency room visits and deaths due to heroin. The interactive also includes ER visits in major cities and breaks down the deaths by age group and gender. It really puts into perspective how serious and deadly heroin use is in the United States over time.
This map depicts each state’s recorded heroin fatalities in 2014 alone. From it, you can see that the national median of reported fatalities is 1.3 percent with many states percentages coming in several times greater.
Ohio accounts for 1 in 9 of the nation’s heroin fatalities, due in part to the fact that Dayton, Ohio is a hub for direct deliveries of internationally trafficked heroin. New York state, where authorities regularly confiscate trafficked heroin, totaled 7.8 percent of heroin fatalities in the nation, while other states in the Northeast region, including Pennsylvania (4.7 percent), Massachusetts (4.4 percent), and New Jersey (4.1 percent), have seen an increase in heroin use.
The rate at which heroin-related deaths occur each year is also disquieting. In a 2014 survey, it was found that Ohio and New York accounted for roughly 2,100 deaths, taking the top two spots for the most heroin-related deaths. Illinois was found to have had 734 fatalities due to heroin, with the Chicago metropolitan area claiming first in the nation for heroin-related ER visits.
Between the years of 2010 and 2014, heroin-related deaths have seen an increase across the nation. Although the chart shows that deaths due to heroin are likely to occur three times more amongst men than women, the rate at which women are dying is rising much faster. A factor that may be contributing to the difference may be the fact that women are more frequently prescribed opioid painkillers in higher doses for a longer duration than men due to chronic pain. Today, women account for half of the heroin users across the nation and have greater difficulty quitting and are more likely to relapse, which increases their risk of dying.
Unfortunately, the heroin epidemic continues to spread across the nation with multiple deaths occurring every hour. For many, the fight with addiction still occurs every day due to the easily the drug can be found in cities and suburbs across the country. If you or someone you know is struggling, Heroin.net can help by connecting you with a network of professional treatment services provided by medical experts such as detox, rehab, and therapy programs.