Heroin Statistics

Heroin addiction is an epidemic in the United States. The statistics below paint a sobering picture of heroin use and overdose rates.

Heroin Addiction and Heroin Overdose Deaths Skyrocketing

Both heroin use and overdose deaths are on the rise. Consider the following data from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the National Vital Statistics System reflecting heroin use and the heroin overdose death rate.

Heroin Use - US

Heroin Use

Across most demographics, heroin use in the United States has increased over time. The chart above shows the percent increase for the years 2002 to 2004 and 2011 to 2013 (per 1,000 people in each demographic).

Heroin Deaths - US

Heroin Overdose Deaths

Heroin addiction and death by overdose are on the rise. The chart above represents the years 2002 through 2013, showing the rate of addiction (per 1,000 people) and overdose death rate (per 100,000 people).

SOURCES: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NDHSU), 2002-2013. National Vital Statistics System, 2002-2013.

Heroin’s Tie to the Prescription Drug Epidemic

Heroin addiction is closely tied to the abuse of prescription drugs. Heroin use tends to garner coverage in the news, but addiction to prescription drugs is far more common. Prescription Drug and Heroin Overdose Death Rate - US

Further, the mortality rate linked to a prescription drug overdose is well above that of heroin overdose deaths. 

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioid analgesic (prescription painkiller) overdose deaths have reduced and leveled off in recent years while heroin overdose deaths have risen dramatically.

SOURCE: Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin: United States, 2000–2013. Center for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Heroin and the Broader Substance Abuse Problem in America

Heroin and Addiction to Other Drugs

Many people who use heroin also use at least one other drug. The majority of people who use heroin also use three or more additional drugs.

People who struggle with addictions to:

  • Alcohol are twice as likely to become addicted to heroin
  • Marijuana are three times more likely to become addicted to heroin
  • Cocaine are fifteen times more likely to become addicted to heroin
  • Prescription opioid painkillers are forty times more likely to become addicted to heroin

SOURCE: Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin: United States, 2000–2013. Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Teens, Young Adults, Heroin Addiction and Seeking Treatment

Heroin use has increased dramatically in the 18-25-year-old age group in the United States. The rate of heroin use doubled for young adults when comparing the periods of 2002 to 2004 with 2011 and 2013. Heroin-Related Inquiries - The Recovery Village

The Recovery Village, a leading provider of drug addiction treatment, has seen heroin-related inquiries increase at a troubling rate in recent years. That rate is for a slightly different subset of the population: people between the ages of 13 and 24. When comparing the period beginning in the third quarter of 2015 and ending in the second quarter of 2016, heroin-specific inquiries among teens and young adults have risen by 53 percent.

SOURCE: The Recovery Village

Seeking Information on Heroin: Google Trends

Referred to as the database of intent, Google Trends can provide an interesting view into how a specific topic, including heroin addiction, varies over time in terms of internet search volume. These four graphs echo the increasing problem of heroin in the United States. The graphs are for the common internet searches: “heroin in system,” “heroin withdrawal,” “heroin rehab,” and “heroin overdose.”

Google Trends: Heroin in System

Google Trends: Heroin Withdrawal

Google Trends: Heroin Rehab

Google Trends: Heroin Overdose

While there are spikes in the data, all graphs demonstrate an increased interest in heroin-related topics.

SOURCE: Google Trends



Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Heroin Epidemic Infographics.” July 2015. Accessed June 5, 2016.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “National Vital Statistics Reports.” 2002-2013. Accessed February 2019.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin: United States, 2000–2013.” March 2015. Accessed June 5, 2016.

Google. “Google Trends.” (n.d.) Accessed Jun 5, 2016.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “National Survey on Drug Use and Health.” September 2014. Accessed February 2019.

Heroin Statistics
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