Prescribing Heroin to Save Lives

Submission Date: August 27, 2013
Attributing Author: Meghan Ralston
Source: The Huffington Post

Heroin use and heroin overdoses are growing. 

Another International Overdose Awareness Day (Aug. 31) approaches and many people are still focused on prescription opioid drugs and their role in overdose fatalities. Those do indeed play a big role. But another threat is snaking through the country and we need to plan for its impact.

Here comes the heroin.

Reports are coming in across the country, from places like Montgomery, Maryland, Ellensberg, Washington, Concord, New Hampshire, throughout Kentucky and in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Heroin use and heroin overdoses are growing. According to recent research by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), the number of first-time heroin users has nearly doubled lately, from around 90,000 “first-timers” in 2006 to a whopping 178,000 in 2011. Our normal approaches (crackdown, get tough, prohibit, arrest) have never done much good long-term. Will anything be different this time?

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