Recent news reports indicate heroin use is on the rise—the U.S. Justice Department says there was a 320% increase in heroin seized along the southwest U.S. border from 2008 through 2013. (1) Public health and safety are at risk, and the risk does not stop at industrial plant gates or construction sites.
A 2012 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported about 669,000 people over the age of 12 had used heroin at some point during the year, and of those, roughly 467,000 were considered to be heroin-dependent—more than double the number in 2002. (2) The figures are what some deem to be a likely impetus behind U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to address the growing epidemic. In a video released in early March, Holder called heroin overdoses an “urgent public health crisis,” and stated: