Heroin use rises in Oregon, mirrors national trend

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Some states, including Oregon, are reporting a rise in heroin use as many addicts shift from more costly and harder-to-get prescription opiates to this cheaper alternative. In the early 2000s, Oregon’s problems with heroin use were well-documented. Heroin overdoses in the Portland, Ore., area accounted for nearly as many deaths among young and middle-aged men as cancer or heart disease in 2000. When residents began to turn to prescription pills, heroin deaths dropped. But for those seeking treatment, the percent of heroin users is back up to levels not seen since the 1990s. And the population getting treated is younger than it’s ever been. By 2012, that age group was 10 percent of the heroin-treatment population. Last year, 11.6 percent of all heroin addicts seeking treatment in Oregon were younger than 25.


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