Far more people in the USA use heroin than a decade ago, a study from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found, reports USA Today.
From 2002 through 2007, heroin use was relatively stable with fewer than 400,000 users, the study reported. The number ticked up to 455,000 in 2008, then shot up to 582,000 in 2009. In 2013, the latest year available, 681,000 people used heroin in the previous year.
Most were adults 26 or older, but 31,000 teenagers used heroin in 2013, said the study, made public Thursday. It analyzed data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which surveys and interviews 70,000 people nationwide.
Still, heroin use in the USA lags far behind use of other substances such as prescription painkillers and marijuana. Less than a third of 1% of the population used heroin in 2013. About 13% of the population 12 or older, 33 million people, used marijuana in 2013, and 4%, 11 million people, abused prescription painkillers.