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Medical News & Perspectives |

Driven by Prescription Drug Abuse, Heroin Use Increases Among Suburban and Rural Whites

Bridget M. Kuehn, MSJ
JAMA. 2014;312(2):118-119. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.7404.
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The face of heroin use in the United States is changing dramatically. A study published in JAMA Psychiatry in late May found that compared with previous generations of heroin users, newer initiates are more likely to be older, to be white, to live in nonurban areas, and to have previously abused prescription painkillers (Cicero TJ et al. JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.366 [published online May 28, 2014]).

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Heroin use appears to be increasing among nonurban whites who previously abused prescription opioids.

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Theodore J. Cicero, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St Louis, and his colleagues found that heroin users are increasingly likely to be white, to be from nonurban areas, and to have previously abused prescription painkillers.

Washington University School of Medicine

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