A worsening epidemic
June 30, 2010, to July 1, 2011
►43,265 people admitted to substance abuse treatment
services in Massachusetts reported using heroin the year prior to admission; of those, 266 were under age 18, and 31,549 were between ages 21 and 39, with a median age of 31.5.
►Of the 43,265 people referenced above who reported heroin use, officials say 85 percent reported heroin as their primary substance of use.
►140,000 people age 12 or older in the United States used heroin for the first time within the previous 12 months.
►4.9 million drug-related emergency department visits were made nationwide; 2.3 million were for misuse or abuse.
►Heroin was third after cocaine and marijuana as the most common illegal drug responsible for emergency department visits among users 21 and older.
Between 2004 and 2010
►Emergency department visits involving misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals increased 115 percent, from 626,472 to 1.3 million. About half of those visits involved pain relievers, the majority of which were narcotics, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.
►The US Drug Enforcement Administration seized 1,065 kilograms (2,347 pounds) of heroin domestically, up from 721 kgs. in 2010.
SOURCES: Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services; National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2010; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Drug Abuse Warning Network report, July 2, 2012