What is now considered to be an epidemic was initially classified as a problem among whites in rural areas, but does not discriminate by race or area.
“We can’t just talk about whites or Hispanics; we’re talking about everyone in general. It’s an epidemic in which we’re seeing children as young as 10, 12 years old, beginning to take drugs that before were for adults, which are opioids, which is heroin,” explained Diana Plazas, Gen-Rx Project Director for CETPA, a nonprofit counseling agency specializing in mental health and substance abuse.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, opioid-related deaths among Latinos rose 35 percent between 2015 and 2016, and with synthetic opioids, numbers increased 183 percent. In 2016 alone, 3,440 Hispanics suffered an opioid overdose, according to statistics from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.