Fatal heroin overdoses double in US over two years

 

According to TheGaurdian, Deaths from heroin overdose doubled in just two years in much of the United States, a new government study says.

The annual number of US drug overdose deaths has been growing for more than 20 years. Officials have been most worried about a class of powerful prescription “opioid” painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin. Deaths involving such painkillers continue to be much more common than heroin-related deaths, the study found.

But while those deaths are leveling off or declining in many parts of the country, heroin overdoses (deaths) soared between 2010 and 2012 in the 28 states for which information was available to the researchers.

Heroin overdose deaths rose from 1,779 to 3,665, doubling the death rate to 2.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

Heroin-related deaths increased in both men and women, in all age groups, and in whites, blacks and Hispanics.

Officials say the trend’s future is hard to predict. “It’s a volatile situation,” said one of the study’s authors, Dr Len Paulozzi of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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