Heroin is now a major public health crisis

Harm Reduction Coalition Calls for Urgent Federal Action

CDC today released new figures showing a dramatic rise in heroin use and overdose deaths. Over the past decade, rates of heroin use increased by over 60%, while heroin overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, climbing by a staggering 286%. In 2013 alone, over 8,200 people died from a heroin overdose.

These trends affect people from all walks of life and all corners of society. Heroin use rates doubled in women and in young people aged 18-25. Heroin use also increased across all income levels.

“Heroin is now a major public health crisis,” said Daniel Raymond, Policy Director of the Harm Reduction Coalition. “In light of these figures, we call upon Congress and the federal government to provide emergency funding and support to states and communities at the forefront of this epidemic.”

Under Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell’s Opioid Initiative, the Administration requested an additional $99 million for efforts to address the prescription opioid and heroin crisis, including funding for overdose prevention and drug treatment. Neither of the proposed spending bills from the House of Representatives nor the Senate would fully fund this request.

“Congress must invest additional resources in overdose prevention and treatment,” said Daniel Raymond. “In an emergency, we need swift action to stop the dying and help the suffering. While Congress finalizes the spending bills, Secretary Burwell should make emergency funds available to states struggling under the burden of the heroin crisis.”

Last month CDC published a report authored by Harm Reduction Coalition and colleagues on community-based programs working to expand access to naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication. In 2013, community programs reported training nearly 38,000 laypersons on overdose reversal, distributing over 140,000 naloxone vials, and receiving reports of over 8,000 successful overdose reversals.

“Community-led overdose education and naloxone distribution must be sustained and scaled up rapidly, and we can’t do that without additional federal support,” stated Daniel Raymond. “We know from last year’s Ebola response that in the midst of a grave public health threat, Congress and the Administration can work together to provide emergency funding. We need to harness that leadership and commitment to the very real and present danger of heroin overdose.”

The new CDC heroin figures also call attention to the risk of new hepatitis C and HIV infections from injection. “New hepatitis C infections rose nationally by 150% between 2010 and 2013,” said Daniel Raymond. “States and communities struggling with heroin use should implement syringe exchange programs to prevent disease and support linkage to drug treatment and health care.”

Harm Reduction Coalition supports a comprehensive response to the prescription opioid and heroin crisis, including overdose prevention, expanding access to medication-assisted treatment, ending stigma towards addiction, preventing new infections, and strong public health-driven leadership.

12 Popular Myths About Addiction That Actually Aren’t True

Addiction is a terrible, terrible disease, and it is something we all need to stay informed about. If dealing with this recent tragedy in my life has taught me anything, it’s that addiction is one of the most powerful diseases out there. Once it takes hold of a person, it is very hard to get rid of it. I don’t want to see anyone else in my position, or worse, in my friend’s position. Learning the truth behind popular myths about addiction may help you learn how to deal with it or how to deal with someone struggling with it. At least, I hope it does. Here are 12 popular myths about addiction that actually aren’t true.

I just can’t get into the headspace of addiction anymore, I’m really struggling to wrap my head around the notion. That’s so weird to say, I was an addict for 5 years. When I was a teenager my entire life was about getting drunk, guzzling cough syrup and downing prescription pills to quieten my mind against the incessant PTSD laden thoughts that plagued me. At one point I was even doing research chemicals because I just didn’t care about myself anymore. If I was sober, that was a day wasted and a day closer to suicide. Now, I’m free of all substances and yeah, I’m fatter, quieter and I’m “less fun now” - but fuck I’m proud! I’m so proud. I’m free of addiction and almost free of the PTSD, but this time without chemicals. I don’t know how it happened, but over time I stopped the cough syrup, stopped the pills and even completely stopped the drinking. I quit smoking as soon as I found out I was pregnant, and now the worst thing that enters my body is ice cream or the odd can of cola. It’s bizarre because I never thought I would be able to function sober, when in reality I was never functioning under the influence of substances. I was a chemical laden mess of a human being with little comprehension or care of how my actions affected others. I told lies, broke promises, hurt myself, stole money and the list goes on. Now I sit here…with the love of my life not five feet away from me, in our beautiful home amongst rolling hills, with a baby growing in my womb. The contrast between my old life and my new life is beautiful. Who knew existence could be so pure?

anonim sordu:

More of secret addict hermann? Trying to get clean with newts help perhaps?

Hermann isn’t sure what Tendo’s medical student gave him, isn’t sure what they even looked like, everything is just a haze; but it dulls the pain, and steadies his stomach enough to drink and eat a little, and when the worst returns, there’s a drip in his arm;

“Newton-” his mouth is bone dry, he can barely whisper; “Newton!” It takes a desperate, stumbled gasp to get his attention,

Newt hurries to his side, “How are you feeling-”

“I need-” Hermann’s face crumples, “Please, I can’t-”

They don’t get to the bathroom in time, but Newt at least gets him to the bin; it’s not something Hermann wants to remember, as though something revoltingly alive were fighting its way from inside him, and when it’s finished- or he has nothing left within him- he collapses to the ground and curls on the blissfully cool floor;

Newt cleans him and Hermann chokes because- why, what is Newt doing taking care of him, this disgusting, idiotic, drug-addled-

“Shut up;” Newt says sharply, “I’m a fucking biologist, dude, I knew this was going to be gross;”

They get him back to bed, the sheets are sticky and burning around him, the sickness soaking through them into him and he tries to cringe away- but they’re everywhere and he can’t get free- can’t get away-

Newt pulls them off; and throws a cool, blissful coat over him, “Hang on, I’ll get some more;”

Hermann curls in a ball under the softness of it, and the worlds finally- please oh thank you Gott- he falls asleep.

He wakes with a splitting headache, and his stomach shrunken and gnawing inside him; he peers out of the fresh sheets and blinks at Newt- collapsed in a chair by the bed and snoring;

The sound is a drill in his head; Hermann winces, and carefully levers his aching, exhausted body up; he feels- a little better, he thinks, but it’s hard to decide when he is so hungry;

The curtains are drawn in the kitchen, which is a blessed relief when the faintest glare sets fireworks of pains racing across his brain;

There’s half a pizza in the fridge, some oranges and an apple and Hermann doesn’t even take them to the table, sitting on the floor and wolfing them down; barely breathing until they are gone, his stomach is full and the world slowly steadying around him;

He looks up at the quiet darkness of the kitchen, the bin is conspicuously missing, the air is cool and his body feels- almost light, apart from the comforting weight in his belly;

It’s gone, Hermann looks down at his arm, the puncture tracks, the collapsed veins and the sores where he’d injected between his fingers; it’s gone, he can barely believe it.