In The Know Zone


  • Of approximately 2.1 million "sometime" heroin users in the U.S., about 208,000 use it habitually.
  • The number of past-month heroin users nearly tripled from 68,000 in 1993 to 208,000 in 1999.
  • The 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) estimated that there were 149,000 new heroin users in 1998 and that nearly 80 percent of them were under the age of 26.
  • The 1999 NHSDA found that the mean age of first use of heroin declined from 26 years in 1992 to 21.3 in 1998, which indicates that more young people are using the drug.
  • At the same time, 73.7 percent of tenth graders thought that trying heroin was a "great risk"--the highest percentage recorded in five years.
  • Over 80% of heroin users inject with a partner, yet 80% of overdose victims found by paramedics are found alone.
  • Last year, there were approximately 84,000 visits to emergency rooms in the U.S. due to heroin.
  • Approximately 14% of all drug-related emergency room visits involve heroin.
  • Last year, 4,251 heroin users died as a result of using the drug. 80% of those deaths were caused directly by the drug in combination with alcohol or other drugs. About 10% were caused directly by heroin alone. The remaining 10% were caused by the drug together with suicide, accidents, murders, or medical disorders.
  • In the 25 and 49 age group, illicit drug overdose is the fourth leading cause of death, about the same number as in motor vehicle crashes.
  • The average dependent person uses between 150 - 250 milligrams per day, divided into 3 doses.
  • The average heroin addict spends between $150 and $200 per day to maintain a heroin addiction.
  • In 1998, 65% of the heroin seized in the United States originated in South America and another 17% came from Mexico.

In The Know: Substance Abuse Pamphlet/ DVD Package
In the Know: Cause of Death-Heroin Pamphlet
In The Know: Substance Abuse DVD Package