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Heroin in the Northeast: A Regional Drug Threat Assessment
August 2003


Heroin distribution and abuse will continue to pose a significant threat to the Northeast. Abuse levels should continue to increase in many areas, at least for the near term--particularly among younger individuals from suburban and rural communities, those that abuse prescription opiates, and employees in the commercial fishing industry--as should the number of heroin-related treatment admissions, ED mentions, and deaths. While many new heroin abusers prefer inhalation as the primary method of administration, prolonged use can lead to injection. An increase in the number of injection drug users will result in an increase in the attendant consequences, including HIV, hepatitis B and C, and other diseases transferred through needle sharing. In the long term, abuse rates should peak and stabilize but likely will remain at high levels.


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