Heroin overdose deaths in the United States nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, fueled by lower costs as well as increased abuse of prescription opiate painkillers, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday. The report found that heroin use increased by 63 percent from 2002 to 2013.
In 2013, roughly 517,000 people reported that they had used heroin in the last year, a 150 percent increase from 2007. As many as 8,200 people died from heroin overdoses in 2013 alone. Such medicines, which include Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet, increase individuals’ susceptibility to heroin addiction, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters. FULL REPORT