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Heroin Use, Deaths Up In WA, Especially In Youth

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File photo of a person loading a needle with heroin. (Photo by MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a person loading a needle with heroin. (Photo by MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images)

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SEATTLE (AP) — Heroin use and related deaths have increased significantly across Washington over the past decade. A new study released Wednesday say the increase is especially noticeable among people younger than 30.

Young people are finding it cheaper and easier to get heroin than prescription opiates, and both kinds of drugs offer a similar high and danger of addiction.

That’s according to Caleb Banta-Green, author of the report and a researcher at the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.

The largest increases in heroin use and abuse in Washington state were outside of metropolitan areas, where drug treatment and awareness are lowest.

Overdose deaths from heroin or related prescription drugs more than doubled in Cowlitz, Snohomish, Grays Harbor, Chelan, Lewis, Mason, Thurston, Benton and Kitsap counties between 2000 and 2011.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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