More people seek treatment for heroin use than for any other illicit drug, except marijuana.
The decline in the number of treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities for abuse of controlled prescription drugs (CPD) can likely be attributed to the increase of (CPD) abusers using heroin. Many abusers, when unable to obtain or afford CPDs, begin using heroin, a cheaper alternative that offers similar physiological effects.
Medications are available to treat heroin addiction while reducing drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms, improving the odds of achieving abstinence. There are now a variety of medications that can be tailored to a person’s recovery needs while taking into account co-occurring health conditions.
The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW), Office of Addiction Services (OAS), works to coordinate community resources to impact the opioid epidemic. The OAS works to foster a united community-wide approach among the various service providers and stakeholders to address the addiction epidemic. The OAS also oversees the MORE Center and the Syringe Exchange Program. The MORE Center treats opioid addiction with a combination of psychosocial counseling and medication. The goal of the Syringe Exchange Program is to reduce the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne infections by providing new, sterile syringes and clean injection equipment to intravenous drug users.
 (U) U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA Intelligence Report, National Drug Threat Assessment Summary; October 2015
 National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Research Report Series: Heroin. November 2014, Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).