What is Heroin?
Heroin is a synthetic, highly addictive opioid that can produce intense feelings of euphoria. Heroin use has been increasing in recent years among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. Some of the greatest increases have occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes. In particular, heroin use has more than doubled in the past decade among young adults aged 18 to 25 years. As heroin use has increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths: Heroin-related overdose deaths have more than tripled since 2010. From 2013 to 2014, heroin overdose death rates increased by 26%, with more than 10,500 people dying in 2014. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital Signs: Today’s Heroin Epidemic – More People at Risk, Multiple Drugs Abused).
But what about Indiana? According to in.gov – In 2014, the most recent year for which final data was available, 452 individuals in Indiana died of drug overdoses involving opioids, and 2,822 people visited emergency departments due to opioid overdoses. Preliminary death data for 2015 indicates that 595 individuals in Indiana died of drug overdoses involving opioids that year.
The CDC reports Indiana as one of the states with statistically significant increases in the rate of drug overdose deaths from 2013 to 2014.
You don’t have to be a statistician to know that the numbers are going the wrong way. The issue is with more than just the street drugs, it is also with the legal and illegal distribution of pharmaceuticals. The issue here is people are dying and lives are being destroyed. What can one person do? One person can be part of something – groups of people are a group of individuals. Plans start as single ideas. The complexity of the problem is a set of individuals with common issues and also individual issues all needing addressed. The real question here is, What will get done without you?