Heroin addiction has been a nationwide problem for many years, but the latest facts on drug overdose are shocking: According to CDC data, opioid deaths reached an all-time high of 30,000 in 2015, killing more people than gun violence.

Just a year earlier, in 2014, the drug-overdose deaths were about 5,000 fewer.

"The epidemic of deaths involving opioids continues to worsen," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, "Prescription opioid misuse and use of heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl are intertwined and deeply troubling problems."

Overall, the five most commonly cited drugs found in overdose deaths were: heroin, cocaine, oxycodone (OxyContin), alprazolam (Xanax) and fentanyl. Heroin remained the leading drug on the list.

A National Epidemic
Usually, the deaths involved more than one individual drug category, or a deadly drug combination of multiple types of opioids.

To put this into perspective, heroin has killed more people than guns has in the United States. More Americans have died of drug addiction than the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. Heroin is now the number one cause of deaths for people under 50 years old in the United States. The deadly drug is also responsible for killing more people in 2015 than the HIV/AIDS epidemic of 1995.

"The prescription opioid and heroin epidemic continues to devastate communities and families across the country — in large part because too many people still do not get effective substance use disorder treatment,” said Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy.

What Does The Future Hold?
Just this year, the New York Times reported that some 59,000 and 65,000 Americans died by drug overdose in 2016. In 2015, there were 52,404 drug-related deaths. The numbers keep rising at a drastic rate. They estimated that in Ohio, overdose deaths increased by more than 25 percent in 2016.

This current heroin epidemic cannot go ignored; the new generation of youth is already endangered. If those statistics are to change, it requires more people waking up to the stark reality of thousands of lives lost in such a senseless way. Drug rehabilitation and heroin treatment for drug addicts must be a national concern and focus.

Seeking a Cure for Your Loved Ones

The 21st Century Cures Act, signed by president Obama allotted $1 billion for a two-year budget for treating drug abuse.

However, helping someone who suffers from drug abuse requires more than just leaving it up to the government to tighten drug abuse laws or to provide medication. It takes the genuine concern of family members and friends. It takes people who are committed to seeing these desperate numbers decrease and to promoting the end of drug addiction.

It takes ensuring that the one suffering gets real, professional help from a trusted treatment facility, and it takes following up on their long journey of drug rehabilitation to wholeness and stable health.

If you know someone who suffers from drug addiction, think of it as a terminal illness for which a cure has been found. Do something about it. Help them get help.

The Crosby Clinic is one of the best drug rehabilitation centers in the country. They provide advanced heroin addiction treatment and other effective therapies, including Vivitrol. Call today for a consultation. You just might save another life.

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