Of all the substances that send individuals in Riverside, Calif. and across the nation to drug rehab centers, there are perhaps few more addictive or potentially deadly than heroin. The country’s prescription drug abuse epidemic has led to a major increase in the number of heroin abusers in the country, causing the DEA to call it the biggest threat to the nation’s health and introduce what it describes as a “360 strategy” to combat the rising epidemic.
The goal of the DEA’s plan is to combine the work of various law enforcement groups in preventing the trafficking of heroin, as well as engaging in community outreach efforts to better educate the public at large about the potentially deadly effects of the drug. The plan is being piloted in Pennsylvania before being taken to the rest of the country.
The introduction of the plan comes on the heels of a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association that the number of heroin users has increased by 51 percent over the last five years, while contributing to approximately 8,000 overdose deaths in 2013 alone.
The tragic consequences of heroin addiction have sent many in Riverside and elsewhere to drug rehab centers to receive much-needed treatment. However, many fail to seek treatment, and as law enforcement officials have found, the toll can be deadly. If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin abuse, don’t wait. Seek help today.