US heroin use hits 20-year high: 4 things to know

The United Nations released its World Drug Report 2016 today, which shows the use of heroin in the U.S. has reached its highest rate in 20 years, according to Reuters.

Here are four things to know about the report's findings:

  1. The number of heroin users in the U.S. reached one million in 2014, almost three times higher than in 2003.

  2. In 2014, there were about 207,000 drug-related deaths, with heroin-related deaths increasing sharply over the last two years.

  1. The rate of heroin-related deaths has increased by five-fold since 2000.

  2. The rise in heroin use could be linked to recent U.S. legislation that makes it more difficult for people to abuse prescription opioids. The report also cites high supply and cheap costs as other reasons for the drug's popularity.

More articles on population health:

Whole grains, sugary drinks and fruits, oh my — 8 things to know about Americans' diets
6 US regions where children have unsafe blood lead levels
Why one physician group is focusing on prison inmate health


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