Demand for Heroin Continues to Surge
The spread of heroin to Chicago’s suburbs is the sign of a harrowing epidemic that even has hardened former gang members concerned. Earlier this year, Roberto Hernndez, ironed out the final details for a church ministry, Gangs to Grace, to stop Latino gang members from becoming part Chicago’s violent crime epidemic. He is perplexed by the high number of Caucasian girls “some as young as 14” who are turning to prostitution in order to finance their heroin addiction in neighborhoods that he would never would have considered visiting.
Chicago has the worst heroin problem in the entire country. In 2011, Chicago trumped all other American cities with 24,627 heroin-related emergency room visits 12,612 more visits than New York had. 35% of all drug abuse treatment admissions are for heroin, versus 16% nationwide. Demand for heroin continues to surge especially among young women, maintaining a boom that experts say is the largest drug market in the country.
Heroin Addiction Epidemic Link to Tighter Prescription Opioid Regulation
The heroin epidemic in the Midwest is closely linked to the prescription opioid epidemic. As doctors continue to prescribe opioids and painkillers such as OxyContin, drug abuse continues to grow. When prescription opioids are harder to come by and more expensive, heroin becomes the drug of choice for opioids because of its cheaper cost and easier accessibility. A whooping 75% of heroin addicts used to take prescription opioids before switching to heroin. Heroin costs less than half of what it did in the 1980s. Much of the rise of heroin addiction is attributed to higher prescription opioid rates, especially in states such as Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.
Indiana and Illinois are behind the curve in curbing the drug abuse epidemic. The heroin addiction problem continues to worsen as states fail to prioritize addiction treatment services. Illinois was ranked 28th in the nation for providing state-funded addiction treatment services to a staggering 44th in a five-year period. This makes Illinois the least effective state in the Midwest in providing proper addiction treatment services for the burgeoning heroin addiction epidemic. Indiana is only slightly better in their addiction treatment efforts.
Heroin is the sweet seductress that may have lured you into its clutches. For most heroin addicts, heroin is not sought to provide pleasure, but to remove emotional, physical or practical work-a-day variety pain. If you’re struggling with heroin addiction, a professional drug rehab like Safe Harbour Recovery can help you begin your journey to sobriety. Let’s get started.