Heroin Use on the Rise As Those Addicted to Opioids Switch, Stanford Study Suggests

There’s been a sharp increase in U.S. heroin use since 2008, while prescription opioid use has decreased, suggests research from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The study looked at the number of prescription opioid and heroin related hospital discharges from 1997 to 2014. The research, published in the journal Health Affairs, found discharge rates for opioid poisonings declined every year by five percent from 2010 to 2014 while heroin poisoning discharge rates increased at an annual rate of 31.4 percent from 2008 to 2014.

The senior author of the study says the findings add evidence to suggestions that people addicted to prescription opioids are switching to heroin and synthetic opioids.