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Federal officials remain concerned about heroin use levels

April 23, 2015
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A new report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) finds that while heroin use levels have remained relatively stable from 2009-2013, they still are considerably higher than levels from 2002-2008.

Collected from National Survey on Drug Use and Health results, the data in the new report show that 681.000 Americans ages 12 and older used heroin in 2013 (by contrast, the number of users in the 2002-2008 period ranged from 314,000 to 455,000). A total of 169,000 individuals, including 21,000 adolescents and 66,000 young adults ages 18 to 25, used heroin for the first time that year.

In addition, more than half a million Americans (526,000) received treatment for a heroin problem in 2013, according to the report.

Leaders will be keenly watching for data examining more updated trends, given that many communities have been reporting in recent months that crackdowns on access to prescription opioids are resulting in significantly more drug users turning to heroin.