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Eastern States Continue to Struggle with Opiate Abuse

opiatesDrug use trends can often vary, such as by region, age, gender or population. While the trend of opiate addiction has continued to spread throughout much of the country, it has remained a serious problem especially in the Northeast for many years, particularly for heroin. Other Eastern states have had more of a problem with painkillers, but have seen a rise in heroin use as well.

One example is Pennsylvania, where heroin overdoses have reportedly increased over 300% since 2000. Perhaps the most shocking thing about this statistic is that some medical professionals are surprised that the number is that low. Emergency room doctors and law enforcement see the effects of heroin and prescription painkiller abuse daily and consider addicts lucky when they get arrested. Oftentimes the alternative to getting arrested is an overdose.

Many addicts admit that they started out abusing pills and then moved to heroin. “The common pathway to get to heroin if you ask some of these people we see in the emergency department…it’s prescription drug abuse,” explained Dr. Jack Devine, an emergency room physician. This is likely because heroin is easier to obtain and oftentimes cheaper, yet it provides the same high as prescription painkillers.

Of course Pennsylvania is not the only state to see such a spike in overdose deaths among residents, states all around the country are feeling the effects of the opiate epidemic. The Northeastern states seemingly hit the hardest include New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. Many people from the region who seek treatment for their opiate addictions turn to Florida.

At Genesis House, we often have clients come to our facility from the Northeast and other parts of the country. Our campus-like setting in South Florida is an ideal place to begin recovery from an addiction to opiates or any other substance. If you or someone you love has a drug or alcohol problem, contact us today for more information about how we can help.