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Opioids to Heroin Addiction
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The NIDA helps advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.
Every addict in the world has the chance to experience our message in his or her own language and culture and find the opportunity for a new way of life.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
Episode number: 
1301

Experts say the heroin epidemic, which is a growing problem nationwide, is largely spurred by people who first become addicted to prescribed opiate pain medications. As the pills become more expensive and harder to obtain, people move on to the cheaper and more potent high that heroin can provide. Cynthia Scudo, grandmother of twenty, shares the story of hip pain that ended with a nine-year addiction to heroin.

(The following information is from National Institute of Drug Abuse)

This content was taken from presentation by Nora D. Volkow, MD to Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control

The abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers is a serious global problem that affects the health, social, and economic welfare of all societies.  It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin. The consequences of this abuse have been devastating and are on the rise.  For example, the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has soared in the United States, more than quadrupling since 1999.  There is also growing evidence to suggest a relationship between increased non-medical use of opioid analgesics and heroin abuse in the United States. To address the complex problem of prescription opioid and heroin abuse in this country, we must recognize and consider the special character of this phenomenon, for we are asked not only to confront the negative and growing impact of opioid abuse on health and mortality, but also to preserve the fundamental role played by prescription opioid pain relievers in healing and reducing human suffering. That is, scientific insight must strike the right balance between providing maximum relief from suffering while minimizing associated risks and adverse effects.

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