Substance Abuse

CDC Vital Signs: Demographic and Substance Use Trends Among Heroin Users — United States, 2002–2013

Heroin use and overdose deaths have increased significantly in the United States. Assessing trends in heroin use among demographic and particular substance-using groups can inform prevention efforts. FDA and CDC analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and National Vital Statistics System reported during 2002–2013. This report summarizes their findings. During 2002–2013, heroin overdose death rates nearly quadrupled in the United States, from 0.7 deaths to 2.7 deaths per 100,000 population, with a near doubling of the rates from 2011–2013 (1). Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicate heroin use, abuse, and dependence have increased in recent years. In 2013, an estimated 517,000 persons reported past-year heroin abuse or dependence, a nearly 150% increase since 2007 (2). During 2002–2011, rates of heroin initiation were reported to be highest among males, persons aged 18–25 years, non-Hispanic whites, those with an annual household income <$20,000, and those residing in the Northeast (3). However, during this period heroin initiation rates generally increased across most demographic subgroups (3). Most heroin users have a history of nonmedical use of prescription opioid pain relievers (3–5), and an increase in the rate of heroin overdose deaths has occurred concurrently with an epidemic of prescription opioid overdoses. Although it has been postulated that efforts to curb opioid prescribing, resulting in restricted prescription opioid access, have fueled heroin use and overdose, a recent analysis of 2010–2012 drug overdose deaths in 28 states found that decreases in prescription opioid death rates within a state were not associated with increases in heroin death rates; in fact, increases in heroin overdose death...

Teenagers Abuse Household Items as Drugs

NOTE: While this may be somewhat “hype” it is still worth mentioning for parents to monitor and be aware of changes in their tweens and teens… This is offered for Parent Awareness, because drug and alcohol use is often involved in teen sexual activity. Parents, lock up your kitchen cabinets and your home office: Teens are experimenting with bizarre and dangerous substances like computer cleaners right at home. When we think about teen substance abuse, our minds veer to dad’s liquor cabinet or illegal drugs. But teens are increasingly turning to home offices and kitchen pantries to chase a high. One recent trend is called “dusting” — inhaling the fumes from computer cleaning supplies to get high. And YouTube videos and blogs are popularizing the use of everyday items you might use to make dessert, including nutmeg and vanilla extract, for mind-altering purposes. Read on to learn more about “dusting” and some of the other ways teens are using common household items to get high. ‘Dusting’: Inhaling Computer-Cleaning Product Computer-cleaning products might seem innocent, but a growing number of teenagers are using them for the chemicals’ mind-altering effects. Inhalant abuse has been around years — often referred to as “huffing” — but the term “dusting” is used to describe the use of cans of any aerosolized computer keyboard cleaner that has compressed gas inside. You can get a high from putting the straw from the can into your mouth and inhaling as they spray the contents. Breathable chemicals like aerosols, gases or solvents can produce a loss of sensation and even unconsciousness, according to the National Institute on Drug...