The growth of drug overdoses over the past 10 years has recently been visualized for us by the Coalition Against Drug Abuse. The non-profit outfit analyzed CDC data and created a series of graphs representing drug overdose death rates for various classes of drugs, for the decade between 2000 and 2011.
Overdose Rates are Up, Everywhere.
The graphs are not surprising - drug overdoses are up substantially over the 10 year period, across all regions. Click the image to see a larger version.
Opioid Abuse is Up. Heroin is Up.
Of all of the drug types cited in the CDC data, drugs in the category "semi-sythetic opioids" show the fastest growth in contribution to deaths by far. In New Jersey, heroin use is way up.
Semi-sythetic opioids (most prescription pain killers) contributed to more deaths in 2011 than almost all of the other drug categories combined.
Almost every data set produced in the past 5 years since 2011, suggests opioid use is substantially higher now.
The Charts from the Coalition Against Drug Abuse
Attached are a few of the charts published showing the CDC data for overdose deaths attributed to specific drug types, or heroin.
Opioids (synthetic or semi-synthetic)
West Virginia leads all other states by far, for rate of overdose per 100,000 people, attributed to pain killers. Utah, Nevada, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Florida follow in that order. Georgia is not on the list of these "Top Ten" states for overdose rate from opioids. Click on image for larger version.
Heroin, a Cheaper Opiate
New Jersey leads all other states for rate of overdose per 100,000 people, attributed to heroin, followed closely by Ohio, Michigan and Connecticut. Click image for larger version.
Surprisingly, only one state (Ohio) ranks in both the Top Ten for death rates involving opioids and also the Top Ten for death rates due to heroin.
Our Sunrise Detox Centers in New Jersey know first hand how quickly New Jersey drug abuse shifted from prescription painkillers to heroin. As supplies of prescription drugs are throttled by legislation, market pricing, or "anti-abuse" technologies introduced to prevent crushing of pills, people addicted to prescription opioids moved into street markets to access drugs and avoid painful withdrawal sickness.
Prescription Pill Abuse leads to Heroin Abuse
As drug dealers learn to manipulate their customers, they start tainting their products with other chemicals in order to meet demand and extract maximum profit. A culture of heroin use and abuse develops within the drug abusing community, leaving near epidemic levels of heroin addiction in that state. Heroin addiction treatment is the largest type of substance abuse treatment in New Jersey detox centers today.
It appears Ohio is going through a similar transition at this time, with "Top Ten" levels of both prescription painkiller and heroin contribtions to death rates per 100,000 residents.