(888) 448-0302 Talk to a recovery specialist 24/7

Choosing recovery close to home means your support system is just a few miles away.

  • 100% Confidential
  • Available 24/7
  • No Pressure to Commit
  • Multiple Financial Options Available
Call (888) 448-0302

We're Here To Help 24/7

Heroin Addiction Statistics

by Landmark Recovery

October 24, 2017
Heroin Addiction Stats

An overdose of drugs is a leading cause of death for many Americans below the age of 50. It is so absurd that the deaths are rising at a faster rate than before primarily due to use of opioids. Overdoses caused more deaths in 2016 than car accidents and guns. Americans are dying from overdoses at a faster pace than the H.I.V epidemic at its peak! In 2015, it was reported that about two percent of deaths in the U.S. were related to drugs.


A graph showing the increase in drug use, especially heroin.



Prevalence Of Drugs In The U.S

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2015 discovered that more than two millions of Americans are battling opioid problems. These take drugs including heroin. It is an addictive drug found in a lot of places. People enjoy abusing this drug since it steals their souls. Continuous use of heroin makes the user reach an extent of giving in whatever he has to get more drugs. What heroin addicts do not realize are the various withdrawal symptoms which can get bad. These include:

  • Bloodstained stool
  • Puking
  • Problems with the heart
  • Body aches and cramps
  • Cold sweats
  • Goosebumps
  • Shivering


What Is Heroin

Heroin comes from a resin of the poppy plant. The Poppies are cut to remove milky sap-like opium from the pod of the plant. The opium is then refined to come up with morphine. Further refining of morphine leads to various forms of heroin. Heroin is a white powder in its purest form. However, it is found in other colors including brown, rose gray and black. These various colors are a result of being cut with caffeine, sugar or other imaginable stuff. Some people even cut it with rattex, strychnine or other poison.


Stages Of Addiction

One does not become a heroin addict overnight. It entails a progression to become addicted. There are various stages one undergoes to become an addict. Let us have a look at them below.


Experimental Addiction

This usually happens as a result of peer pressure and curiosity. One might decide to try the drug for once. However, he might experience pleasure and mood swings. Some of the outcomes include intoxication, stoning or a “rush” of sorts. Most people who experiment never progress to another stage.

It is mostly those in their early teens or sometimes younger who are fond of experimenting. These never hesitate trying out alcohol, cigarettes, and cannabis. They enjoy the feeling of getting high since their bodies have a low tolerance. This habit usually happens when with peers away from the prying eyes of their parents or guardians. They see it as a rite of growing up or as a way of expressing their rebellious nature.


Recreational Addiction

In this stage, users usually meet on weekends with peers. They use heroin as a means of unwinding from the stressful week. As tolerance increases, they might use more substances including amphetamines and binge drinking. The symptoms of a person at this stage include stepping out late and suffering from hangovers.

A user at this moment has a plan of how to use the drug. The whole week is spent in great anticipation of the weekend to enjoy the moment with friends. They might begin smoking on the way to school. Further, these kids might even begin telling lies to cover for what they use and the quantity. Most parents use grounding as the best form of punishment.


Early Dependence Addiction

Here, heroin users become abusers. One has to maintain a life of addiction which might begin to impact on others. Young addicts start absconding from school. They have to get money by all means even if it means having to steal. Older ones begin having problems at their places of work and often run into debts. The addicts at this stage are preoccupied with sourcing for drugs even when it means meeting drug dealers.


Full Dependency Addiction

The final stage comprises of a burning desire to escape into oblivion. Here addicts strongly wish to escape from the real world. So, it is challenging to be sober. If the addict doesn’t go into rehab, there is a danger of facing despair and premature death. It comes about as a result of an overdose, suicide attempts, accidents and side effects. The outcomes from dependency addiction include lawsuits, imprisonment, and breakdown of families.


Dangers Of The Drug

People who use heroin do it in various ways. Some smoke or sniff while most people usually inject themselves. Injection of heroin puts users at a high risk of contracting the Aids virus. Further, continuous use often leaves them with no parents, friends, family plus all worldly possessions.

What most users of heroin don’t know is that many of the substances used to cut with heroin don’t dissolve. The moment they inject themselves, there are high chances of blood vessels clogging. When this happens, death can occur or other problems like infections and organ failure.

People use heroin without assessing its strength since the drug is prepared through crude means. It increases chances of overdoses on applying the injection. The drug breaks down the immune system very quickly. So, the user is left very sickly, extremely skinny and eventually death. There are high rising deaths from drug users mostly those who use heroin. It is reported in adults in their 20s and early 30s.


Prevalence Of Death Among Addicts According To Drugs


A visual graph depicting the high amount of deaths per year caused by heroin.

 Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Why People Use Heroin

Americans take heroin for various reasons. Some are trying to change some things in their lives. Below are some other reasons people give for using heroin:

  • Escape from problems
  • Fitting in with the gang
  • Rebellious nature against authorities
  • Desire to experience with new things
  • To look grown up to peers
  • Reliving boredom
  • Lack of knowledge about its grave effects
  • Killing stress
  • Loneliness

People take heroin hoping it will be a solution to their problems. However, it ends up becoming a big problem. People who use drugs always take no time to ponder about their consequences. There are most times worse than the issues there assumed they were escaping.


Final Words

Heroin addiction causes two significant problems. These include a chemical dependency and lifestyle problem. So, if you notice anyone in your family or friend with signs of addiction, don’t hesitate to take them to a rehab center for drugs ASAP. Here, there is a supportive environment and the right treatment to get one’ life back on track.

recovery specialist available 24 hours a day at landmark recovery

Choose Recovery Over Addiction

We're here 24/7 to help you get the care you need to live life on your terms, without drugs or alcohol. Talk to our recovery specialists today and learn about our integrated treatment programs.

About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.