The number of deaths from heroin overdoses more than tripled from 2010 to 2014, according to a recent study from the National Center for Health Statistics. Of the 47,000 deaths from a drug overdose in 2014, 11,000 were from heroin overdoses.

What separates this study from others is its granularity. Other studies typically attribute overdoses to drugs in broad categories like opioids, rather than drilling down into specific types of opioids. Data used in the study was gathered from death certificates between 2010 and 2014.

Chart courtesy of the National Center for Health Statistics

The study also looked into the number of overdoses that involved multiple drugs. Approximately 48 percent of all overdoses reported in the study were attributed to two or more drugs.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) stated the number of heroin deaths had increased six-fold between 2001 and 2014. The death rates remained relatively flat between 2001 and 2008 and showed a sharp increase between 2010 and 2014. Heroin deaths in 2001 totaled 1,960. That number increased to 3,036 in 2010 and totaled 10,574 in 2014, according to NIDA.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) reported that there were 12,990 overdose-related heroin deaths in 2015. That same year, ASAM found that 591,000 Americans had a substance use disorder involving heroin in 2015 and estimated that 23 percent of heroin users develop an addiction to opioids.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that stated the overdose death rate in the U.S. increased from 12.3 per 100,000 in 2010 to 16.3 per 100,000 in 2015. And between 2014 and 2015, fatal overdoses from synthetic opioids other than methadone soared 71.2 percent.

The CDC also released a report in 2015, which stated that between 2002 and 2013, heroin overdose death rates in the U.S. nearly quadrupled, rising from 0.7 deaths per 100,000 to 2.7 deaths per 100,000. The report also noted that between 2002 and 2011, heroin initiation rates were highest among non-Hispanic white males between 18 and 25 years old with an annual household income of less than $20,000.

A surprising statistic revealed in the report was that heroin use in women doubled, and had more than doubled in… (continue reading)