AC360 411: Heroin’s grip on America
February 5th, 2014
06:47 PM ET

AC360 411: Heroin’s grip on America

Editor’s Note: Join us for the latest developments in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death investigation on AC360° at 8 p.m. ET.  

Four people believed to be connected to the heroin found in actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment have been arrested in New York.  The suspects range in age from 22 to 57. According to a law enforcement official, one of the suspects had Hoffman’s phone number stored on his cell phone.  When Hoffman’s body was found on Sunday inside his fourth-floor Manhattan apartment, the 46-year-old actor was lying on a bathroom floor with a syringe in his arm, law enforcement sources said.  Investigators found about 50 envelopes of what they believed was heroin, the sources added.

The number of heroin users is on the rise and abusers can pay a deadly price. Here’s the AC360 411 on heroin in America:

Heroin addicts in 2012: 467,000. A 56% increase in 10 years, according to a federal government study on drug use.

About 4.6 million people reported using heroin at some point in their lives that same 2012 survey.

The age of the average first-time heroin user:  23

Approximately 23% of people who use heroin become dependent on it. 

Heroin is made from morphine, which naturally occurs in opium poppy plants.

Heroin can be injected, inhaled by snorting or sniffing, or smoked.

Medications for treating heroin addiction include buprenorphine and methadone.

Naloxone is sometimes used as an emergency treatment to counteract the effects of heroin overdose.

Street names for heroin include: Big H, Dead on arrival, Hell dust, Smack

Heroin is a “downer” or depressant that affects the brain’s pleasure systems and interferes with the brain’s ability to perceive pain.

Heroin is a white to dark brown powder or tar-like substance.

1895: Heinrich Dreser, working for the Bayer Company in Germany, synthesized heroin.

1898: Bayer began to marketing the drug, calling it a “wonder drug.”

One in 10 heroin overdoses ends in death.

Most people die from heroin overdoses when their bodies forget to breathe.

Heroin overdose can also cause your blood pressure to dip significantly and cause your heart to fail.

The price of one heroin capsule: $6according to police in Delray Beach, Florida.

The price of a multiple-dose supply: $45 to $60,  officials tell the Washington Times.







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