Heroin Use Soars, With Biggest Jump Among Whites

Heroin Use Soars, With Biggest Jump Among Whites
A new study finds heroin use in the United States has risen fivefold in the past decade, with the biggest rise seen among whites and men with low incomes and education levels. Dependence on heroin use more than tripled during the last 10 years, Reuters reports. The biggest increase was seen among whites ages 18 to 44, researchers report in JAMA Psychiatry . The increase has been fueled partly by the misuse of opioid prescription drugs, the study concluded. Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that in 2001-2002, 36 percent of whites using heroin had taken prescription opioids non-medically before they started using heroin, compared to 53 percent in 2012-2013. “Because the effects of heroin seem so similar to widely available prescription opioids, heroin use appears to have become more socially acceptable among suburban and rural whites,” lead researcher Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, said in a...
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Medical Services for People Dependent on Opioids Rose 3,000% in Seven Years

Medical Services for People Dependent on Opioids Rose 3,000% in Seven Years
A new study finds medical services for people dependent on opioids rose more than 3,000 percent between 2007 and 2014, according to Kaiser Health News . The study is one of the first to analyze data from privately insured patients who are dependent on opioids. It was conducted by Fair Health, a nonprofit databank corporation focused on health care costs and insurance. Researchers used data from 150 million patients. A diagnosis of opioid dependence often leads to office visits, lab tests and related treatments, the study found. Patients with an opioid dependency diagnosis used these services 217,000 times in 2007, and 7 million times in 2014
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