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Originally published April 5, 2014 at 5:53 PM | Page modified April 6, 2014 at 3:31 AM

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A look at heroin use in Washington state

Some states, including Washington, are seeing an increase in heroin use as many addicts shift from more costly and harder-to-get prescription opiates to this cheaper alternative. A look at what's happening in Washington:


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Natures way of culling the herd. MORE

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SEATTLE —

Some states, including Washington, are seeing an increase in heroin use as many addicts shift from more costly and harder-to-get prescription opiates to this cheaper alternative. A look at what's happening in Washington:

THE PROBLEM:

According to the University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, the average annual number of deaths from heroin and prescription opiates is increasing. Experts also report that when admissions to facilities for drug treatment are looked at, heroin was the most common drug for 18- to 29-year-olds in 2012.

THE NUMBERS:

In King County, Washington's largest population center, data shows there were 49 heroin-involved deaths in 2009. In 2012, there were 84 such deaths, according to UW researchers. As for the average annual number of deaths in Washington state involving heroin and prescription-type opiates, UW researchers reported that from 2000-2002 the number was 310. From 2009-2011, that statewide figure was 607. Researchers say the majority of those deaths involved prescription-type opiates.



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