Cocaine Deaths on the Rise Among Black Americans

African-American
Cocaine deaths are increasing, particularly among non-Hispanic black Americans, The New York Times reports. Cocaine, the number-two killer among illegal drugs, claims the lives of more black Americans than heroin does, the article notes. A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found between 2012 and 2015, the death rate from cocaine overdoses was 7.6 per 100,000 among black men, compared with 5.45 per 100,000 for heroin. Cocaine overdoses exceeded those from heroin among black women as well. “We have multiple drug problems in the U.S.,” said Keith Humphreys, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine who advises governments on drug prevention and treatment policies. “We need to focus on more than one drug at a time.”
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As More U.S. States Legalize Marijuana, Mexico’s Drug Cartels Turn to Heroin

Heroin
Mexican drug cartels are turning to heroin as more U.S. states legalize marijuana, according to USA Today. Small farmers who used to plant marijuana to be smuggled in the United States are switching to opium poppies, which brings them a better price. The opium gum is harvested and processed into heroin. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, marijuana seizures have fallen by more than half since 2012, while seizures of heroin and methamphetamine have soared. Heroin seizures by the U.S. Border Patrol rose from 430 pounds in 2012 to 953 pounds in 2017. Marijuana seizures dropped from 2,299,864 pounds in 2012 to 861,231 pounds in 2017. Meth seizures rose from 3,715 pounds in 2012 to 10,328 pounds in 2017.  
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St. Louis Police Saving Fewer Lives with Heroin Antidote Amid Stronger Opiates

Naloxone
The number of people that police in St. Louis have been able to save using the heroin overdose antidote naloxone, or Narcan, has declined by approximately 30 percent this year, compared to last year, according to the Associated Press . The St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that nearly 90 percent of 121 overdose deaths through July of this year involved the drug fentanyl. Sometimes mixed with or sold as heroin, fentanyl is a powerful opiate that is considered stronger than heroin, making reversing an overdose from fentanyl more difficult. “The toxicity level of fentanyl is so potent, it might not be reversible,” said Spring Schmidt, director of health promotion and public health research for St. Louis County. “The potential for death is faster, and that impacts our ability to reverse an overdose.” Health officials noted that fentanyl overdoses may require more than one dose of Narcan to successfully...
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Alcohol: America’s #1 Addiction Problem

Alcoholism
More than two million Americans are addicted to opioids, ranging from the illegal drugs heroin and fentanyl to the prescription medications OxyContin and Vicodin, yet eight times as many people misuse or are addicted to a substance that is more widely available and easier to access. This substance is alcohol. Despite the fact that it has largely retreated from public consciousness in the context of the current opioid epidemic, research shows that rates of alcohol misuse and addiction are on the rise. The Rates Continue To Climb Recent reports indicate that nearly 16 million people ages 12 and older have an alcohol use disorder (AUD), better known as alcohol addiction. This represents an almost 50 percent increase from figures reported just 10 years prior. Additionally, the number of people who engage in high-risk drinking (more than five drinks at a given time for men, four for women) increased by nearly...
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DEA Releases 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment

Heroin
  DEA Acting Administrator Robert Patterson recently announced results of the 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA), which outlines the threats posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and the abuse of illicit drugs. “This report underscores the scope and magnitude of the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States,” said Acting Administrator Patterson. “The information in the report represents data gathered over the past year, but of critical importance is the real time information we get every day from our partners. It has never been a more important time to use all the tools at our disposal to fight this epidemic, and we must remain steadfast in our mission to combat all dangerous drugs of abuse.” Over the past 10 years, the drug landscape in the United States has shifted, with the opioid threat – including controlled prescription drugs (CPDs), fentanyl and other synthetic opioids,...
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Fentanyl is a Major Cause of Increase in Heroin-Related Deaths

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Half of the increase in deaths involving heroin after 2013 can be attributed to heroin mixed with fentanyl, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 33,000 people died of an opioid overdose in the United States in 2015, HealthDay reports. Opioid overdoses accounted for 63 percent of drug overdose deaths in the United States that year. Between 2010 and 2015, heroin overdose deaths quadrupled, from 3,036 to 12,989. A second study by the CDC found about 90 percent of overdose deaths in Ohio early this year involved fentanyl or a chemically related substance. Only 6 percent involved heroin. Young Men and Women’s Brains DO Not Function the Same after Heavy Alcohol Use According to a recent article in Science Daily , Scientists have found that brain functions in young men and women are changed by long-term alcohol use, but that these changes...
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NDEWS Report Finds Shift in Patterns of Heroin Poisoning Death

Heroin
National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) recently issued a report titled “Geospatial Analysis of Drug Poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin in the USA, 2000–2014”. The report found that the geographic pattern of poisoning deaths involving heroin has shifted from the west coast of the USA in the year 2000 to New England, the MidAtlantic region, and the Great Lakes and central Ohio Valley by 2014. The evolution over space and time of clusters of drug poisoning deaths involving heroin is confirmed through the SaTScan analysis. For this period, White males were found to be the most impacted population group overall; however, Blacks and Hispanics are highly impacted in counties where significant populations of these two groups reside. Their results show that while 35–54-year-olds were the most highly impacted age group by county from 2000 to 2010, by 2014, the trend had changed with an increasing number of counties experiencing higher death...
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Percentage of Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Heroin Tripled in Five Years

Percentage of Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Heroin Tripled in Five Years
A new government report finds 25 percent of drug overdose deaths in 2015 involved heroin, triple the percentage in 2010. The National Center for Health Statistics found the percentage of overdose deaths from prescription opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone decreased to 24 percent in 2015, from 29 percent in 2010, Reuters reports. Cocaine was associated with 13 percent of overdose deaths in 2015, up from 11 percent in 2010. The four states with the highest drug overdose deaths in 2015 were West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio. Overdose death rates increased for all groups, but the sharpest increase was among those ages 55 to 64.
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California Reports More Young Adults Ending Up in ER Because of Heroin

California Reports More Young Adults Ending Up in ER Because of Heroin
A growing number of Californians in their 20s are ending up in the emergency room because of heroin, according to the Los Angeles Daily News . In the first three months of last year, 412 adults ages 20 to 29 went to the emergency room in California because of heroin—double the number for the same period in 2012. While heroin-related emergency room visits increased among all ages, the largest increase was among young adults. According to Dr. Crescenzo Pisano, an internist who specializes in addiction and addiction medicine at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in San Pedro, young people start misusing prescription opioids and then turn to heroin. “People price themselves out of range,” he said. “Relatively affluent, well-to-do kids start stealing and find heroin is cheaper to use.”
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Heroin Tops the List of Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Overdose Deaths

Heroin Tops the List of Drugs Most Frequently Involved in Overdose Deaths
Heroin was the drug most often involved in overdose deaths between 2010 and 2014, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other drugs commonly involved in overdoses included oxycodone, methadone, morphine, morphine, hydrocodone, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium). More than 47,000 people in the United States died from drug overdoses in 2014, up from more than 38,000 in 2010. “Opioids are responsible for a disproportionate number of injuries and deaths,” Dr. Caleb Alexander, a co-director for the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, told ABC News . “It’s only natural that policymakers and public health officials focus on opioids.”
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Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
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