Throughout the nation, heroin use is on the rise according to a recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control. According to the report, from 2002-2013, deaths from heroin overdose quadrupled compared to the previous ten years. Overdoses and more widespread usage are strongly correlated according to the CDC. In Orange County heroin addiction has increased and the highest concentration of heroin addicts seems to be in Santa Ana, Huntington Beach and Anaheim though precise data is difficult to acquire. An LA Times story, along with multiple other media sources, draws a connection between prescription drug addiction and heroin addiction. As prescription drugs become more expensive and harder to obtain, addicts turn to the cheaper high of heroin, according to media reports.
Another reason that addiction and overdose may be on the rise may be the failed policies of the "War on Drugs." By criminalizing drug use and addiction, many addicts may hide their drug dependency rather than seek out help to beat the addiction. Perhaps the latest bad news about heroin will encourage politicians to look at drug use as a public health issue rather than a criminal issue. Rather than incarcerating the struggling addicts, it may be time to focus on rehabilitating them.