According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 95% percent of high school seniors disapprove of even occasional heroin use. So what happens to these seniors when they get to college? Why has heroin use among college students risen as dramatically as it has over the past five years? To better understand, you need to know the basic truths of how college students get addicted to heroin.
Who Is Most Vulnerable to Heroin Addiction?
According to the CDC, college students and teens in rehab in general continue to be vulnerable to heroin addiction. Heroin use among these young adults has risen dramatically in the last five years. Non-Hispanic whites, particularly females, have experienced the greatest surge of heroin use in recent years. In fact, the overall number of heroin users increased by 200% from 2007 to 2013.
How College Students Get Addicted to Heroin
Widespread use of prescription painkillers is largely to blame for how college students start using heroin. According to the CDC, students either start using heroin before college or in collegiate years. Many of these students first used a family member's leftover medication or obtained pain medication prescriptions for sports injuries, dental procedures, back pain or other needs. The Foundation for a Drug-Free World reports that heroin's availability, ease of use, and affordability compared to prescription painkillers makes the drug more tempting to college students than ever.
Prescription Painkillers Are How College Students Get Addicted to Heroin
Of students abusing heroin, 50% admit that prescription painkillers were their gateway drug leading to heroin abuse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Monitoring the Future report from 2013 provides data indicating that over 7% of college students have used either Vicodin or OxyContin. These are only two of many widely abused prescription painkillers that can lead to heroin addiction.
"Typical" College Students Abuse Heroin, According to Surveys
In the National College Health Assessment of the American College Health Association, 19% of surveyed college students said that the typical student on their campus had abused heroin. This same survey in 2012 indicated that 1,300 of the 76,000 respondents admitted to using heroin, themselves. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 89,000 young adults started using heroin each year from 2009 to 2011. Shockingly, that’s 36,000 more per year than 2002 to 2005.
What to Do When Your College-Aged Child Becomes Addicted to Heroin
If you or a college-aged young adult in your life are abusing prescription opioids or heroin, finding the right addiction treatment program is imperative. College is supposed to be a time of great hope for the future. Rebuild that hope by helping yourself or your loved one start recovery today.
Call Pinnacle Peak Recovery at 866-954-0524 to learn more about programs specifically designed to help young adults overcome addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin.