The number of U.S. heroin users has grown by nearly 300,000 over a decade, with the bulk of the increase among whites, according to a new government report.
Experts think the increase was driven by people switching from opioid painkillers to cheaper heroin.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Tuesday. It’s based on annual face-to-face surveys of about 67,000 Americans — the government’s main source of data on use of illegal drugs.
In recent surveys, nearly 3 in every 1,000 Americans said they used heroin in the previous year. That’s up from under 2 per 1,000 about a decade ago, a 62 percent increase which translates to hundreds of thousands more people, government researchers said.