Novus Medical Detox Center Urges Education and Action as New DEA Report Reveals Rising Heroin Use and Deaths

With the latest DEA threat assessment survey showing substantial growth in heroin use and overdose deaths, Novus Medical Detox Center urges immediate collaborative action to support substance abuse education, prevention and treatment.

(New Port Richey, FL) June 30, 2015 – According to a recent report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), heroin use nearly doubled from 2007 to 2013 while heroin-related deaths more than tripled in the same period—leading a majority of law enforcement agencies to cite heroin as their greatest drug threat (1). Novus Medical Detox Center, a leading Florida-based drug treatment facility, asserts that these heroin statistics point to an urgent need for collaborative efforts in support of substance abuse education, prevention and treatment.

As reported in the DEA National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary (1):
• Heroin use is growing at a much faster rate than any other drug, with the “current user” population increasing 80%—from 161,000 to 289,000—between 2007 and 2013.
• Deaths involving heroin jumped 244% between 2007 and 2013, from 2,402 to 8,260.
• While only 8% of law enforcement agencies cited heroin as their greatest concern in 2007, that number rose to 38% in 2015.
• Heroin seizures rose 81% in four years, from 2,763 kilograms in 2010 to 5,014 kilograms in 2014.

Among the reasons the DEA cited for today’s rising heroin abuse are the drug’s increasing availability and decreasing price, with these factors leading many prescription opioid abusers to transition to heroin (1). In fact, the DEA reports that four out of five recent new heroin users had previously abused prescription pain relievers (2). Furthermore, today’s higher-purity heroin allows the drug to be inhaled, causing heroin to lose some of the stigma associated with injected drugs and leading to its growing popularity among younger, more affluent, and more ethnically and geographically diverse individuals (2).

“The DEA report emphasizes the imminent dangers of rising heroin abuse, which has spread from urban cores to suburban, middle-class America, and reveals a direct link between prescription opioid abuse and migration to heroin,” said Kent Runyon, Executive Director of Novus. “Heroin-related deaths have grown at an alarming rate, underscoring an immediate need for education and intervention. It will take more than law enforcement alone to solve a problem this pervasive; the best chance of success will depend on collaborative efforts between educators, doctors, community leaders, addiction specialists, police officials and others to provide substance abuse education, prevention and treatment.”

Given the correlation between prescription opioid abuse and heroin use, Runyon maintains that any solution must target both types of substance abuse. To this end, he urges the DEA to work with doctors, pharmacists and other health practitioners in identifying and preventing controlled substance diversion during the healthcare delivery process.

Novus is committed to continuing to do its part in the ongoing struggle against prescription and illicit drugs, by providing the most effective medical opioid detox programs available anywhere. Novus’ cutting edge medical detox protocols help prepare patients for far greater success in their quest to recapture their lives free from drugs through medically supervised and individually customized addiction and detox programs. The Florida drug detox facility follows proven medical protocols to safely and comfortably ease patients through the withdrawal process, with 24-hour access to nursing care and withdrawal specialists. Novus even treats high-dose cases that others refuse and provides referrals to qualified drug rehab facilities to ensure a successful recovery.

For more information on Novus Medical Detox Center and its prescription opioid and heroin treatment programs, visit

About Novus Medical Detox Center:

Novus Medical Detox Center is a Joint Commission Accredited inpatient medical detox facility that offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Florida, Novus is also licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families and is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient. By incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment, Novus tailors the detox process for each patient, putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, cable television and high-speed Internet access. Novus’ expansion is tied to their contribution to their industry and their local community, ranking number 48 on the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2014 Fast 50 Awards list of the fastest-growing companies in Tampa Bay, and number 2,936 on the 2014 Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America. For more information, visit

1. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary; April 2015.

2. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “DEA Releases 2015 National Heroin Threat Assessment”; May 22, 2015.


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