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Heroin use spikes in Washington

HeroinSEATTLE — Heroin use in people under 30 has dramatically increased over the past ten years in Washington state, a recent University of Washington study shows.

The UW’s Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute released a study in June showing heroin use has more than doubled over the past ten years in people under 30. The study was compiled from information relating to criminal evidence — such has how often heroin is found at a crime scene — and admission to treatment programs.

Prescription drug abuse also increased, but seemed to peak in 2009. All other incidents of abuse, drug evidence and admission to treatment programs declined.

Heroin use is especially on the rise in people between the ages of 18 and 29, the report shows, with more young adults seeking treatment for heroin abuse than any other drug in 2012. The average number of heroin deaths in those under 30 in Washington state has tripled since 2000, with 607 people under the age of 30 suffering from overdose between 2009-2011.

Prescription drug abuse peaked in 2009, shortly before a strong uptick in heroin usage. According to the study, prescription drug abuse can often lead to heroin addiction because of the cheaper nature and addictive qualities of both drugs.

For more on the study, click here.

 

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