Thousands of people across Alabama are slowly killing themselves. They’re addicted to drugs. It might be painkillers, synthetic drugs or heroin. Addiction can touch anyone’s life. But recovery is possible. Help spread awareness.
Heroin is typically a synthetic, highly addictive opioid that can produce intense feelings of euphoria.
Like most opioid drugs, pure heroin's main dangers are tolerance and dependence, which can lead to an overdose. Adding to the hazardous nature is that it is manufactured in unregulated and often unsanitary environments and abused under many risky conditions - making obtaining and using heroin a highly dangerous activity.
In 2012, heroin-related overdose deaths in Jefferson County doubled - then doubled again in 2014. Sizable increases such as this closely mirror what's going in the rest of the U.S.
Heroin-related deaths across the country increased 439% from 1999 to 2014. As of 2014, heroin-related deaths had more than tripled in five years and quintupled in 10 years. [source CDC]
Some of the greatest increases in usage have occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes. [source CDC]
Among new heroin users, approximately three out of four report having abused prescription opioids prior to using heroin. [source CDC]
Heroin is one of the most frequently reported drugs by medical examiners in drug abuse deaths.