Heroin Movement Worldwide
Heroin and Opium Consumption
Worldwide opium production has doubled since the mid-1980s, resulting in greater heroin availability, rising purity, and lower prices. Universal increases in heroin-related medical emergencies, arrests, and crime indicate that heroin consumption remains a growing problem throughout the world. The UN Drug Control Program estimates that there are some 8 million heroin abusers worldwide. Although heroin use remains less prevalent than cannabis, it accounts for a greater percentage of drug-related health problems and criminal activity. There are an estimated 2 million heroin users in the United States, with some 600,000 to 800,000 considered hardcore addicts. While most heroin users in the United States tend to be older, heroin use among younger groups has risen in recent years. The higher purity levels of heroin allow heroin to be smoked or snorted, making it more attractive to drug users who do not wish to inject. In addition, lower prices for heroin make the drug affordable.