Cost of Heroin Use in the U.S. Tops $51 Billion

Heroin
The total cost of heroin use in the United States reached more than $51 billion in 2015, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The cost estimate includes heroin-related crime and imprisonment, as well as addiction treatment and chronic infectious diseases contracted through heroin use, such as HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C, HealthDay reports. Other costs include treating newborns with heroin-related medical conditions, overdose deaths and lost productivity on the job. An estimated 1 million people in the United States use heroin, the article notes. On average, the societal cost per person who uses heroin is $50,799, according to a university news release. The findings are published in the journal PLOS On e.
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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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