Heroin Facts, Heroin Statistics

Heroin facts and heroin statistics underscore the addictive nature of heroin. Learn facts about heroin and heroin statistics.

The facts about heroin use and heroin statistics are well known, as heroin has been studied for over 100 years. Heroin, actually named diacetylmorphine, is a semi-synthetic opiate derived from morphine. Heroin addiction facts show that although it was originally marketed in 1898 as a non-addictive alternative to morphine, shortly after becoming available its huge potential for addiction became clear. "Heroin" was actually the brand name given to the drug by the maker, Bayer, but facts about heroin indicate Bayer lost some of its rights to that trademark in the 1919 treaty of Versailles.

Heroin Facts - Heroin Statistics on Who Uses Heroin

Commonly held facts about heroin suggest heroin abuse is only a problem for black males, but more and more this isn't the case. In those self-identifying as black, the proportion of admissions to substance abuse treatment declined between 1995 and 2005 both for inhaling and injecting heroin. Heroin statistics also show that during this time white proportions increased in both categories.1 While specific gender information is not available, the percentage of female heroin addicts is thought to be growing.

More heroin statistics and heroin facts on who uses heroin:2 3

  • The average age of first heroin use was 23.4 years in 2008.
  • In 2008, it is estimated there were 213,000 current heroin users in the U.S.
  • Most heroin addicts report having been introduced to heroin by someone they trusted.
  • Of 12th-graders, 1.2% report having used heroin in their lifetime.
  • Between 2008 and 2009, there was an increase in lifetime drug use of 10th-graders and heroin injection increased in this group.

Heroin Facts - Heroin Statistics on Where Heroin Comes From

Afghanistan is known to be the major producer of illegal heroin, producing 87% of the world's heroin. It is thought that Afghan opium (from which heroin and other drugs are made) kills 100,000 people annually.4

While the U.S. contains 4.6% of the world's population, it consumes about 80% of the world's opioid supply.5

Heroin Facts - Heroin Statistics on the Health Effects of Heroin

Heroin statistics on the health effects of heroin underscore its high potential for abuse and risk of death. Heroin facts show that about 2% of heroin addicts die annually due to their heroin addiction.

More heroin statistics and heroin facts on the health effects of heroin: 2 3 6

  • 50% - 70% of intravenous heroin users have suffered non-fatal overdoses
  • 20% - 30% of intravenous heroin users have experienced a heroin overdose in the last year.
  • Of those who begin using heroin, 23% of those will go on to become dependent on the drug.
  • 3% -7% of heroin overdose cases require admission to a hospital for issues like pneumonia, infections and lung problems.

article references

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2021, December 15). Heroin Facts, Heroin Statistics, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Last Updated: December 30, 2021

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

More Info