Study paints a clearer picture on who is most affected in the heroin epidemic

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(WTNH) — It used to be a street drug, a city drug. But heroin is an equal opportunity scourge touching communities throughout the United States.

It’s cheap, it’s available, and it’s killing thousands who overdose.

Wednesday, a new study revealed that as of 2013, 3.8 million Americans have used heroin at some point in their lives, a five fold increase from 10 years before.

The rise especially high among young, poor, white, single men with low levels of education.

A fact authors speculate may be due to the economic hardships this demographic has faced. Along with a lack of available treatment resources — once they’re hooked.

At the center of this illicit drug problem, the abuse of legal prescription drugs- pain pills. Pills give the high, but are expensive and hard to get. Addiction to them has led many with no other history of drug use to take up heroin.

Solutions to the nation’s struggle with heroin are hard to come by though a doctor’s group just advocating treating the heroin epidemic as a public health problem, not a crime wave. Answers can’t come soon enough for those soon to die for their fix.

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