A Push to Treat Opioid Addiction as Heroin Trade Surges

Drugs and people, man helping woman with heroin syringe

(DGIwire) – The flood of heroin coming into and out of New York City has surged to the highest levels in more than two decades, according to The New York Times. A recent article noted the amount of heroin seized in investigations involving the city’s special narcotics prosecutor, Bridget G. Brennan, has already surpassed last year’s totals, and is higher than any year going back to 1991. Her office recorded more than 288 pounds of heroin seized in the first four months of 2014—and this figure doesn’t even account for the everyday, street-level drug deals in the city. Roughly 35 percent of heroin seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration nationwide since October was confiscated by agents in New York State; in the past, the state has accounted for about one-fifth of heroin seizures nationwide.  Other cities are not immune: NYC may just be the port as the heroin is quickly shipped out to other destinations across the country.

Along with these stark statistics comes a stark realization: addiction to heroin and other opioids is rising quickly as well. Given the increased availability of opioid drugs, more and more individuals are likely to get caught up in a cycle of addiction and despair. Even among the fraction of opioid users who seek treatment, the ultimate goal—a drug-free life—will remain out of reach unless the users find an available treatment that is both effective and convenient to administer.

One company that recognizes the unmet medical needs of substance abuse treatment is BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (BDSI), a specialty pharmaceutical company based in Raleigh, NC that focuses on addiction and pain management. BDSI understands that drug addiction is a complicated medical problem requiring long-term treatment and care, and the company is aiming to help the more than 2.5 million people with opioid dependence manage their addiction and regain control of their lives.

Mark A. Sirgo, President and CEO of BDSI, says, “The main goals of treating those with opioid addiction include the reduction of abuse and dependence on both illicit drugs and prescription opioids, allowing the improvement of physical and psychological health. We are keeping this in mind as we seek to address this challenge.”