According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division’ Drug Abuse Trends report, addiction treatment programs and emergency rooms in the Twin Cities increased in non-medical use of prescription narcotics and heroin. In 2008, 1,187 patients reported using opiates other than heroin. Mostly prescription narcotic analgesics or painkillers that are taken orally were the primary substance abuse treatment in addiction treatment programs.
This is almost a three-fold increase since 2002. As a result, hospital emergency rooms visits increased 67.8 percent from 2005 to 2007. Unfortunately, Minneapolis has the highest purity level of Mexican heroin with the lowest price per milligram of any city reporting which makes heroin use very dangerous. In 2008 there were 115 opiate-related deaths compared with 31 for cocaine and 14 for methamphetamines.
In addition, marijuana continues to account for more admissions to addiction treatment programs with 3,199 admissions or 16.6 percent of total admissions in 2008. MDMA, or “ecstasy” abuse grew from 204 in 2004 to 433 in 2008.
Abuse of prescription drugs, heroin and other strong narcotics taken for non-medical reasons even in a pill form has shown to be a growing trend. This type of addiction can be fatal.