Heroin use surged over the past decade, and the wave of addiction and overdose is closely related to the nation’s ongoing prescription drug epidemic, federal health officials said Tuesday.
A new report says that 2.6 out of every 1,000 U.S. residents 12 and older used heroin in the years 2011 to 2013. That’s a 63% increase in the rate of heroin use since the years 2002 to 2004.
The rate of heroin abuse or dependence climbed 90% over the same period, according to the study by researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Deaths caused by heroin overdoses nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, claiming 8,257 lives in 2013.