A user abuses injectable opiates (in the majority of cases, heroin) an average of 14 years before the user admits himself or herself into a treatment program.

Opiates make up 83 percent of admissions for intravenous drug addictions. Second in line is methamphetamine, followed by cocaine.

A survey conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that a decade ago (2001), an estimated 16 million Americans ages 12 or older were using illicit drugs at the time, i.e., had ingested drugs within a month of taking the survey. Such a figure does not take into account survey responses that were untruthful (a proportion of respondents are inevitably inclined to lie about the scope of their drug use).

Young adults ages 12 to 17 report that the number one way in which they access opiate drugs (in this case, prescription drugs) is through family members or friends, either directly or indirectly. An indirect example is a teenager who may steal prescription pills from his mother’s medicine cabinet, unbeknownst to his mother.

Due to the nature of opiates, i.e., the way in which opioid receptors bind to the brain’s receptors responsible for feelings of contentment and well-being, prolonged opiate use compromises the brain’s ability to produce endorphins organically. Thus, an integral component of opiate addiction is physical and neurological in nature; science has proven that an opiate addict’s brain reflects differently when scanned and compared to a non-opiate user’s brain


For more interesting facts look at:  http://rehab-international.org/opiate-addiction/statistics