Number of People Starting Heroin Use Dropped By More Than 50 Percent Last Year


The number of Americans who started using heroin decreased by more than 50 percent in 2017 compared with the previous year, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The report shows 81,000 people started using heroin in 2017, less than half the 170,000 reported in 2016.

Significantly more people received treatment for their substance use disorder last year compared with the previous year. This was especially true for those with heroin-related opioid use disorders—from 37.5 percent in 2017 to 54.9 percent in 2017.

Among young adults ages 18 to 25, there was a significant increase in use of methamphetamine and marijuana, USA Today reports. The report, issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found young adults are misusing prescription opioids less—7 percent in 2017, compared with 8.5 percent in 2015.

Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.