SOURCE: Timberline Knolls

Timberline Knolls

August 13, 2014 09:37 ET

Heroin Overdoses a Major Problem in Massachusetts

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - August 13, 2014) - Young adults dying from heroin overdose have significantly increased in Massachusetts. Recently in Worcester, nine people died in one week due to heroin overdoses. Reports are showing that number could reach 500 deaths this year alone.

While the issue of teenagers and young adults abusing heroin is not new, the fact that there has been a large increase in heroin use among younger teens and adults proves this is an epidemic that will not soon be over. Reports indicate in 2012 an estimated 669,000 people in the United States were in need of treatment for heroin addiction and, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of people initiating their first use of heroin was approximately 156,000. Twenty-six percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 make up the largest age group of individuals seeking treatment, which is a jump from 11 percent who sought treatment in 2008.

"In addition to the shocking number of heroin overdoses in our community, 58 percent of middle age adults had attempted suicide when struggling with a drug addiction," said Bob Bordonaro, LICSW, professional outreach representative in Massachusetts for Timberline Knolls, one of the nation's leading residential treatment centers for women and adolescent girls struggling with addiction, eating disorders, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. "The impact of untreated addiction and untreated co-occurring disorders can be devastating."

Between 2000 and 2012, the number of unintentional fatal opioid overdoses increased 90 percent, according to the state of Massachusetts. In 2012, 668 Massachusetts residents died from unintentional opioid overdoses, a 10 percent increase from 2011. And in the five-month period between November 2013 and March 2014, state police reported that at least 140 people died of suspected heroin overdoses in communities in which they respond to homicides.

In the past, Southeast Asia and Colombia were the two main sources of heroin, but now, with recent terrorism and security measures, smuggling heroin across the US and Mexico border has become profitable and logical, and has allowed the cost to drop significantly. The average cost of a single dose of heroin is approximately $10-$20, depending on the purity. Today, heroin is at least 70 percent pure while historically, the product being sold was said to have a purity of less than 10 percent. The cost of heroin is now comparable to the cost of other drugs such as marijuana and prescription medications, but provides a much more powerful high, making it more desirable. Because of the higher purity of the drug, people are now able to use it more frequently by smoking and snorting it, without having to deal with the risks, or stigma, of injecting it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heroin is also the number one killer of illegal drug users.

Treatment programs such as those offered at Timberline Knolls can provide knowledgeable resources for those with questions regarding what heroin is and what it means to be addicted to it. They can provide free assessments that will aid in the process of developing a track for recovery. And, most importantly, they will work to help provide therapeutic and medical interventions for those who need it. Individuals addicted to heroin rarely seek treatment on their own and many don't even realize their use has become a problem.

About Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center:

Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls (ages 12 - 65+) with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders. Located in suburban Chicago, residents receive excellent clinical care from a highly trained professional staff on a picturesque 43-acre wooded campus. Women and families seeking Christian treatment can opt for specialized Christian-based therapy. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611. We are also on Facebook - Timberline Knolls, and LinkedIn - Timberline Knolls.

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