New face of heroin addiction: White and suburban

May 29, 2014 4:22 PM

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New face of heroin addiction: White and suburban

According to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, heroin users these days are primarily white men and women in their late 20s living outside large urban areas who first became familiar with opioids through prescription drugs compared to the 1960s when heroin users were predominantly young men from minority groups living in urban areas whose opioid abuse began with heroin.

“In the past, heroin was a drug that introduced people to narcotics,” said principal investigator Theodore J. Cicero, of Washington University, St. Louis, in a statement. “But what we’re seeing now is that most people using heroin begin with prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet or Vi...

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