By: Jennifer Faringer, Director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence- Rochester Area (NCADD-RA)
On October 26, DePaul’s National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence- Rochester Area (NCADD-RA) will again proudly partner with the local Drug Enforcement Administration for National Take Back Day!
To locate safe take-back sites in Monroe County, visit the county site at http://www.monroecounty.gov/hhw.
Recently, multiple national and local reports cite an ongoing and disturbing rise in heroin use stretching from rural to suburban and urban populations.
Heroin on the street is much less expensive than diverted pills, especially the popular oxycodone. Also, the heroin itself is often more potent and more plentiful today than in the last several decades. The increase in the potency of heroin results in an increase in the risk of an overdose.
Heroin remains one of the most addictive drugs in the world, with approximately 25 percent of everyone who tries it becoming dependent upon it.
Tolerance quickly develops, causing the user to need more of the drug to achieve the same effect, which in turn prompts the user to seek greater quantities of the drug to support their habit. Overdoses are not infrequent, with heroin reaching the brain so quickly that witnesses sometimes hesitate to call for help immediately, resulting in fatalities.
According to the 2011 national Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the number of people who reported using heroin in 2011 (620,000) was higher than the number in 2007 (373,000). Local treatment providers point to a change in census, with increases from two to nine percent of the client population being admitted for heroin.
Staff at NCADD-RA provide awareness presentations on current trends including prescription drugs and their relationship to the rise in heroin.
NCADD-RA is currently running the comprehensive community awareness media campaign, “What’s in Your Medicine Cabinet?” which seeks to alert the public to both the risks prescription pain medications can pose and the importance of safely disposing of all unwanted medications.
For more information, visit our website at www.ncadd-ra.org.