NYSAC Heroin and opioid use is a major public health and safety crisis around the world. A recent report from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes estimates that in 2013 there were 187,100 drug related deaths worldwide in the age range of 15-64. In 2014, 28,647 deaths occurred due to prescription opioid overdoses, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Right here in New York, there were 2,028 reported deaths in 2014, up from 1,601 in 2013.
Opioid and heroin abuse is not limited by demographic, economic, or geographic limitations. It effects individuals of every age, race, and gender. The increased availability, lower price, and increased purity of heroin in the U.S. have been identified as possible contributors to rising rates of heroin use and overdoses. A tiny, one-dose bag of heroin costs $5-$10 and is cheaper and more accessible than highly controlled synthetic opiates like oxycontin or hydrocodone.
To read how NYS and counties are combatting the heroin epidemic click here.