Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News

 

Why Is Heroin Abuse Rising While Other Drug Abuse Is Falling?

Jan 14 2014, 9:56pm CST | by

10 Updates
Why Is Heroin Abuse Rising While Other Drug Abuse Is Falling?
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

Comments

Full Story

Why Is Heroin Abuse Rising While Other Drug Abuse Is Falling?

Peter Shumlin, the Democratic governor of Vermont, brought heroin addiction to the front burner of national news by devoting his entire State of the State address last week to his state’s dramatic increase in heroin abuse. Shumlin described the situation as an “epidemic,” with heroin abuse increasing 770 percent in Vermont since 2000.

Vermont is a microcosm of the nation. Across the U.S., heroin abuse among first-time users has increased by nearly 60 percent in the last decade, from about 9o,000 to 156,000 new users a year, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

At the same time, non-medical prescription opiate abuse has slowly decreased.  According to the SAMHSA 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health , the number of new non-medical users of pain killers in 2012 was 1.9 million; in 2002 it was 2.2 million. [It bears repeating that these stats are for abuse of non-medical prescription pain killers, not abuse of drugs obtained with a prescription.]

In the same time-frame, abuse of methamphetamine also decreased. The number of new users of meth among persons aged 12 or older was 133,000 in 2012, compared to about 160,000 in 2002.

Cocaine abuse also fell, from about 640,000 new users in 2012 from over 1 million in 2002. Crack abuse fell from over 200,000 users in 2002 to about 84,000 in 2012 (a number that’s held steady for the last three years).

The statistics suggest that heroin has taken up the slack from fall offs among every other major drug (only marijuana and hallucinogens like ecstasy have held steady or slightly increased among new users over the last decade; not surprising since they’re the drugs of choice among the youngest users, and since pot has been angling toward legalization for the last few years).

Most surprising in this sea of stats is the drop in non-medical prescription opiate abuse overlapping with an increase in heroin abuse. The reason may come down to basic economics: illegally obtained prescription pain killers have become more expensive and harder to get, while the price and difficulty in obtaining heroin have decreased.  An 80 mg OxyContin pill runs between $60 to $100 on the street. Heroin costs about $9 a dose. Even among heavy heroin abusers, a day’s worth of the drug is cheaper than a couple hits of Oxy.

Laws cracking down on non-medical prescription painkillers have also played a role. The amount of drugs like Oxy hitting the streets has decreased, but the steady flow of heroin hasn’t hiccupped.  Many cities are reporting that previous non-medical abusers of prescription pain killers—who are often high income professionals—have turned to heroin as a cheaper, easier-to-buy alternative.

One conclusion that can be drawn from the stats is that prescription opiates are serving as a gateway drug for heroin, not so much by choice but by default. The market moves to fill holes in demand, and heroin is effectively filling fissures in demand opened by legal pressures and cost.

Another interesting stat is that among first-time drug users, the mean age of initiation for non-medical prescription pain killers and heroin is virtually identical: 22 to 23 years old. That would also support an argument that there’s a cross-over effect from drugs like Oxy to heroin (in contrast, the mean age for first-time users of pot and ecstasy are 18 and 20, respectively).

Vermont’s heroin problem would seem to be a foretelling of things to come in the more affluent parts of the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau , Vermont’s median household income, home ownership rate, and percentage of people with graduate and professional degrees are all higher than the national averages, and Vermont’s percentage of those living at or below poverty level is significantly lower than the national average.

The bottom line: Vermont’s stratospheric heroin increase is happening where the money is, and the national drug abuse trends suggest that the same thing is happening across the country.

You can find David DiSalvo on Twitter @neuronarrative  and at his website, The Daily Brain . His latest book is Brain Changer: How Harnessing Your Brain’s Power To Adapt Can Change Your Life .

 

Source: Forbes

 

iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update

Update: 10

Selangor’s Watergate about to explode

Source: Malaysia Today

LEBANON-SAMAHA-AZMI BISHARA-ISRAEL
Anwar brought Wan Azmi to meet Khalid to try to resolve this matter. Anwar supports the RM2.5 billion claim but Khalid is stubbornly sticking to the figure of RM250 million.... REA ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 12 hours ago
 


Advertisement


Update: 9

GLCs told to provide RM7 billion to develop Bumiputera firms

Source: Malaysia Today

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
(The Malaysian Insider) – Putrajaya has directed government-linked companies (GLC) to generate RM7 billion in business opportunities for Bumiputera firms this year, Prime Minister Prime Minister Da ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 6 days ago, 2:05am CDT
 

More From the Web

Update: 8

Rafizi shows proof of Putrajaya’s hand in contentious carpet-trader loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli today revealed documents to prove Putrajaya interfered in the RM32 million Bank Rakyat loan to ‎controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan. Rafizi ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 1 week ago, 2:16am CDT
 

Update: 7

PAS MP claims Bank Rakyat loaned carpet-trader RM215m, interest free

Source: Malaysia Today

(Malay Mail Online) – Controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan (pic) was given a whopping RM215 million interest-free loan from state-owned Bank Rakyat, a PAS lawmaker alleged today, despite Putrajaya ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 14 2014, 5:52am CDT
 

Update: 6

MRCB, Nusa Gapurna and PKNS settle suit over RM3 billion PJ Sentral project

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), Nusa Gapurna Development Sdn Bhd (NGD) and PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd have reached an out-of-court settlement over the ow ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 21 2014, 2:53am CDT
 

Update: 5

Story behind Syed Mokhtar’s ‘RM2.25 billion tax-exempt’ Bernas deal revealed, says PKR MP

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – An innocuous written reply in Parliament has provided a peek into the cosy relationship between the Najib administration and Malaysia’s best-known businessman, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar.. ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 15 2014, 12:56pm CDT
 

Update: 4

Constitutional monarchy still murky concept

Source: Malaysia Today

After the RM4.5 billion land sale, the Sultan of Johor secured a 15% stake in MOL Access Portal (MOL) for RM396 million and took a 20% st ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 14 2014, 12:37am CDT
 

Update: 3

Sultan of Johor’s RM4.5 bil backlash?

Source: Malaysia Today

"GOLDEN ASIA" Tokyo Premiere Press Conference
Has Sultan Ibrahim of Johor’s succession of big money deals over the last six months caused the tide of public opinion to turn against Johor’s royal palace? KiniBiz examines the... READ MORE ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 8:49am CDT
 

Update: 2

Putrajaya denies carpet dealer given interest-free loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider Putrajaya today refuted allegations that Bank Rakyat had allowed carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan to repay a RM32 million loan without interest ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 5:44am CDT
 

Update: 1

Malaysia Spends Over $9 million on MH370 Hunt: Report

Source: NDTV

"GOLDEN ASIA" Tokyo Premiere Press Conference
Malaysia has so far spent about RM27.6 million (over $9 million) on search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a ...
Source: NDTV   Full article at: NDTV Jun 9 2014, 3:12am CDT
 

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Fat Shaming &quot;530 Fatties&quot; Facebook Page Reminds Society Of Bad Behavior
Fat Shaming "530 Fatties" Facebook Page Reminds Society Of Bad Behavior
Facebook Page "530 Fatties" openly mocks overweight people around Sacramento and the 530 area code. But it's certainly not the first time that people have faced body image criticism.
 
 
YouTube star Michelle Phan sued over copyright breach
YouTube star Michelle Phan sued over copyright breach
A leading YouTube entrepreneur is facing legal action for alleged copyright infringement in her videos.
 
 
Photos of Cara Delevingne and Selena Gomez Partying in Bikinis
Photos of Cara Delevingne and Selena Gomez Partying in Bikinis
Selena Gomez celebrated her 22nd birthday in St. Tropez yesterday. She was joined by Victoria's Secret model Cara Delevingne. Both took the party to a yacht and we got the bikini photos.
 
 
iPhone 6 renders show up in screen protector listing
iPhone 6 renders show up in screen protector listing
The online retailer believes Apple will launch the iPhone 6 in four different versions
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind


Read more about The Geek Mind.