Heroin Overdoses Are Killing Four Times As Many People

Mar 11, 2015 at 7:44 AM ET

Heroin deaths in the U.S. have nearly quadrupled in the past 15 years and skyrocketed since 2010 according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Men overdose more often than women, the report shows, and young white men are succumbing at a higher rate than any other demographic—roughly 7 deaths per 100,000 people.

Unfortunately the Justice Department saw this coming. The feds have been cracking down on prescription drug abuse throughout the past decade, busting pill mills and scrip-happy doctors, and incidentally raising the prices of prescription opiates. Heroin became an appealing alternative (similar high, but with a lower street price) which could help explain the drastic increase in heroin deaths. Indeed, the CDC report suggests that about 80 percent of first-time heroin users abused prescription painkillers long before they moved onto dope.

Here’s a breakdown of the CDC’s numbers:

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White Men Are Overdosing On Heroin At A Record Rate” (Mother Jones)
Welcome To Heroin Island” (Vocativ)