WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Heroin consumption in the United States has risen to dangerous levels over the past decade, according to a recent report by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
“Heroin use has reached alarming levels throughout our nation and we must work together to overcome this serious public health threat,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said, commenting on the release of Thursday’s report.
While the amount of heroin consumers in recent research is consistent with levels measured since 2009, it is significantly higher than in 2002, according to the SAMHSA.
Parallel to the rise in heroin users, there has been an increase in those seeking treatment, from 277,000 people in 2002 to 526,000 heroin addicts in 2013.
Heroin is one of the most highly addictive drugs on the market and each year causes more than 3,000 overdose deaths. Heroin consumption also increases the risk of contracting AIDS and Hepatitis C through shared needles.
Excessive drugs prescription in the United States is one of the main reasons for heroin addiction in the country that has claimed numerous lives, US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart said in March 2015.