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Monday, September 9, 2013

SAMHSA Reports Heroin Use On The Rise

Substance abuse trends amongst young adults have shown that prescription drug abuse has remained at a constant level, while methamphetamine use and binge drinking are on the decline, according to a new national survey. However, the fact that heroin use is on the rise is indicative of more young adults switching from prescription opioids to heroin, due to the increase in strength as well as the cheaper cost.

5.3 percent of young adults used prescription drugs for the purpose of getting “high” in the past month, a similar rate to the two years prior. In the past month, teen binge drinking was lower last year, compared with 2002 and 2009, reports Time.com.

The number of Americans claiming to use meth in 2012 fell to 440,000, from 731,000 in 2006. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) believes that the drop can be attributed to restrictions making it more difficult for meth producers to acquire pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient for meth production.

When compared to 2009, prescription drug abuse rates among 18 to 25 adults was significantly lower last year, with 6.4 percent using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, conducted by SAMHSA).

52.1 percent of adults reported drinking alcohol last year and almost one quarter of Americans, 60 million people, reported binge drinking. 

Drug use may be dropping in the young adult age group; however, older adult drug use is on the rise for ages 50 to 64. With 7.2 percent of people in this age group acknowledging illegal drug use last year, up from 3.4 percent a decade ago. Drug use for adults ages 55 to 59 rose from 1.9 percent to 6.6 percent from 2002 to 2012.

There are fewer teens smoking cigarettes, according to the new report.


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