Heroin addiction help: Who gets treated for heroin? (INFOGRAPHIC)

Who seeks heroin addiction treatment and rehabilitation services within the United States? Discover national trends and statistics in pour infographic, and learn more about who seeks help for heroin, here.

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Heroin treatment admissions and demographics

The average age at admission for heroin addicts is 34 years old.

The Treatment Episode Data Set by SAMHSA reports that:

Heroin addiction help: Who gets treated for heroin? (INFOGRAPHIC)

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  • 65% are non-Hispanic White
  • 15% are non-Hispanic Blacks
  • 16% are of Hispanic origin

Only 14% of primary heroin admissions aged 16+ were employed, while 45% were not in labor force.

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Most primary heroin admissions (80%) had been admitted into treatment prior to the current treatment episode. About 27% of current addicts who seek help for heroin addiction have been in treatment five or more times before. Maybe this is a result of recent trends involving medication-assisted therapy for heroin addicts. The proportion of heroin admissions with treatment plans that included receiving medication-assisted opioid therapy has fallen to 28%.

Treatment admissions for heroin with other substances of abuse

Persons using heroin are also abusing multiple other substances, especially cocaine and opioid pain relievers. Statistics show that more than 500.000 Americans used heroin in 2013, which represents a nearly 150% increase since 2007.

  • 96% of heroin users said they used other drugs within the past year
  • 61% reported using at least three different drugs

Who seeks help for heroin addiction?

More people are seeking help for heroin use problems than ever before. In fact, individuals in the age group from 18 to 25 seeking treatment for heroin abuse have increased from 11% of total admissions in 2008 to 26% in the first half of 2012.

Heroin drug addiction treatment services are continuing to grow in effectiveness. Moreover, addiction rehab programs that treat heroin withdrawal and heroin dependence are becoming more and more available for those who need them as general public awareness about the link between treatment and solving America’s heroin epidemic continues to grow.

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Statistics also show that more people seek treatment for heroin use than for any other illicit drug, except marijuana.

Heroin addiction treatment questions

Do you have anything you’d like to add or ask? Let us know if you like our infographic and feel free to share it with someone who might be interested. We also welcome your questions and comments in the designated section at the bottom of this page. We try to answer personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries, or refer you to professionals who can help your particular issue.

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Reference Sources:  SAMHSA: 2003-20013 Treatment Epsiode Data Set (TEDS) National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services
CDC: Heroin Epidemic
DEA: National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary
DrugAbuse: What is the scope of heroin use in the United States
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. my son is on heroin and ox and drink he lives in florida, he od tonight went to the hospital they give him a needle,they are letting him out some tonight he is going to stay with friends, he is V.A. how can i get help for him,i live in new jersey, i have went to time and time to help but cant get him to listing can i commit him please sent me help and what to do thank you robert thank you.

    1. Hi Robert. Call a toll-free Heroin Helpline on 1-888-988-7934 to get in touch with trusted and confidential helpline professionals available 24/7. You will speak to a sympathetic, well-trained individual who can help you find a reliable recovery program that will meet your son’s treatment needs.

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