DALLAS -- Smack. Dope. Heroin. Whatever you call it, it’s a big problem in the United States and it’s getting worse.
In a new CDC study released this week, there’s a significant increase in the rate of past year heroin use between the years 2002-2004 and 2011-2013. And the overdose death rate has quadrupled with more than a 286% increase since 2002.
Heroin use is really growing in three groups -- the privately insured, folks with higher incomes, and women.
And it’s closer to home than you think.
“Substance abuse affects everybody in some shape or form or fashion,” said Stacy Davis, the Director of Prevention Programs at the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. “So, we can’t be naive to the point that it’s not affecting us, our neighbors, our family members. So, the best thing to do is to be educated about the disease.”
Davis works to find help for folks dealing with drug and alcohol abuse on a daily basis.
“We receive a lot of calls. We have anything from family members asking for support groups and sometimes parents who just want to know facts about certain drugs and current youth drug trends,” she added. “These days and times, youth are using drugs at an earlier age.”
First-time users are highest amongst males age 18-25.
“There’s a very big stigma behind substance abuse and recovery," Davis explained. "With heroin in particular, their family members need a lot of encouragement and support as well as the person that is struggling with that addiction."