Jane Carlisle Maxwell , PhD Pages 127-140 | Accepted author version posted online: 24 Jun 2015, Published online: 24 Jun 2015
Aims: The abuse of prescription pain relievers and/or heroin is a significant public health concern. This article identifies the changes in this epidemic and estimates the extent of the gap between treatment availability and need. Method: This article uses the national data on opioid and heroin abuse to identify at-risk groups. Result: Findings include shifting from narcotic analgesics to heroin and demographic changes as well as changes in supply and new medication-assisted therapies. Conclusions: The number of persons dependent on pain relievers or heroin and new initiates is more than three times greater than the current capacity to deliver treatment.