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Studies Show The Opioid Epidemic Is Impacting More Than Rural, White Communities

3/12/18

heroin treatment

It's no secret that the opioid epidemic has been hitting the U.S. incredibly hard. However, according to a recent breakdown of the epidemic released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the death rate of the opioid epidemic isn't as focused in white and rural neighborhoods as originally thought.

In fact, the death rate from opioids has been heavily impacting older black Americans from urban areas. According to the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, black Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 have recently seen a sharp increase in overdose rates. But why?

The opioid epidemic isn't the first of its kind
The number of Americans addicted to heroin and seeking opiate treatment may be at an all-time high, but it's not the first wave of addiction America has seen. During the Civil War, many Americans became addicted to morphine after using the painkiller to treat wounds.

Scientists attempted to create a less addictive version of morphine. Unfortunately, the resulting substance -- heroin -- had twice the potency of morphine and was even more addictive.

Amphetamines were later used in the 1930s and 1950s as a prescription for weight loss, depression, and anxiety. However, the drugs were later clamped down on by the 1970s when heroin took off in the midst of the Vietnam War.

Many of the older black Americans overdosing from heroin today are believed to be those who suffered from heroin addiction during the 1970s. However, while heroin has always been dangerous, the introduction of fentanyl into the opioid epidemic has been disastrous.

In fact, many addiction sufferers are unaware that the heroin they're purchasing may actually be fentanyl sold as heroin. Fentanyl has 100 times the potency of morphine and is not only incredibly addictive but also extremely dangerous. However, it isn't only older black Americans who are being affected by this new drug.

Moving in the wrong direction
According to U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, black American youth between the ages of 12 and 17 were more likely than white Americans to use opioids in 2016. This data, Adams said, shows that the nation is moving in the wrong direction.

Heroin treatment in the U.S. is available. The problem is getting heroin treatment information out there for addiction sufferers to find. Methadone clinics offer treatments for heroin addiction that reduces the pain of withdrawal symptoms while also reducing the urge to use the substance.

For this reason, methadone clinics have a success rate as high as 60% to 90% in comparison to abstinence-only programs. For more information on heroin treatment and how methadone works, contact Sundance Methadone Treatment Center today.


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