The overdose rates for synthetic opioids have continued to rise over the past several years. While heroin overdose deaths have fallen since 2017, they are still higher than they were 10 years ago.
Why is this happening?
- Among new heroin users, about 80 percent report having used prescription opioids before using heroin. (NIDA)
- Heroin availability at the retail level in many US markets is a high purity (DEA)
- Increased heroin availability at a relatively low price (compared to prescription opioids) (NIDA)
- Prescription opioids and heroin have similar euphoric effects. (NIDA)