Report: Heroin Deaths Tripled Over Last Three Years


The National Center for Health Statistics reports that the rate for deaths involving heroin has almost tripled since 2010. Over the last 13 years, the rate for drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin quadrupled, according to the report.

Drug poisoning is the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States, according to the report.

Many experts believe that painkiller addictions are responsible for making people turn to heroin. They argue that many painkiller addicts switch to heroin because “it is much a cheaper form of self-medicating.”

“From 2000 through 2013, the age-adjusted rate for drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin nearly quadrupled from 0.7 deaths per 100,000 in 2000 to 2.7 deaths per 100,000 in 2013. Most of the increase occurred after 2010,” according to the report.

In 2013, the number of heroin-related deaths was nearly four times higher for men than women. The number for men was 6,525 deaths, compared to 1,732 deaths for women.

From 2000 through 2013, the rate for heroin-related deaths was highest among adults aged 25 to 44, according to the report. Over the 13-year period, the average annual increase in the rate was 10% for adults aged 18 to 24.5% for those age 25 to 44, and 4% for those age 45 to 64.

In 2000, non-Hispanic black persons aged 45 to 64 had the highest rate for heroin deaths. In 2013, the highest rate was seen in non-Hispanic white persons aged 18 to 44.

In 2000, heroin-related death rates were higher in the Northeast and West regions of the U.S. On the other hand, in 2013, the highest rates were seen in the Midwest and Northeast regions, according to report.

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About the author

Kristin covers health, science and internet news.