Heroin use is on the rise among college students in the U.S., according to a recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Of course, the heroin problem is not limited to college-age individuals. The CDC report found that the rate of heroin use among all people has more than doubled since 2007, with more than 500,000 people admitting to using heroin in 2013. Another alarming trend indicated by the report: the greatest increases in heroin use have come from women and whites, two of the demographic groups “that historically have had lower rates of heroin use.” In fact, the rate doubled among women and more than doubled among white Americans in recent years.
Heroin use is a particular problem when it leads to addiction or dependence, especially when the repeated use results in heroin overdose deaths. Since 2008, the number of individuals who can be classified as heroin abusers has nearly doubled.
Not surprisingly, the root of the heroin use problem may be found in the youngest demographic groups. Many of the first-time heroin users are teenagers and college-age adults. The CDC report indicates that the rate of heroin use among affluent teens and college students has sharply risen since 2008.
One example of this scary trend can be found on the University of Georgia Campus, where drug and alcohol abuse counselors have witnessed firsthand the rise in heroin addiction among students. Liz Prince, a counselor for UGA, said that a major reason for the rise in heroin use is a concurrent rise in prescription drug abuse. According to Prince, prescription medications that have been legally obtained become a gateway to heroin use as the teenager or college student realizes that heroin is a cheaper option.
Regardless of age, anyone who is struggling with drug addiction deserves a chance to get better. Unfortunately, your ability to get the help you need may be stifled by a criminal justice system that emphasized punishment and deterrence over treatment. If you have been arrested for heroin possession in New Jersey, however, a qualified attorney may be able to help you get into a diversionary program such as Drug Court so that you can get the treatment you need and keep your permanent record clear of a criminal conviction.
For more information about the rise of heroin use among U.S. college students, check out the OnlineAthens.com article entitled, “Heroin Use by College Age Adults on the Rise.” http://onlineathens.com/uga/2015-12-06/dramatic-rise-heroin-use-college-age-adults
If you have been accused of a drug crime, such as heroin possession, prescription drug possession or simple possession of marijuana, the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Lombardi and Lombardi can help you. We have decades of experience fighting on behalf of clients in North Jersey and negotiating with NJ prosecutors. Call us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.