Heroin is an illegal drug in the United States but remains popular for recreational use. Today, an estimated 948,000 Americans are abusing or addicted to heroin. Heroin was banned in the United States in 1970 in the Controlled Substances Act. Today, as the opioid crisis rises and legislation reduces access to prescription opioids, many people with addiction to prescription pain pills move on to heroin. In fact, an estimated 80% of all individuals with a heroin addiction moved to the drug from a prescription opioid, and an estimated 3-8% of all individuals abusing prescription drugs will eventually move to heroin. At the same time, heroin presents more risks than prescription drugs, with risks of chemical pollutants, increased risk of overdose, increased risk of crime and violence, and increased risk of disease on top of the deleterious mental and physical effects of drug abuse. If your loved one is abusing heroin, it’s critical to get them help.