WOODBURY - A new report confirms that there has been a dramatic increase in heroin use in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report says heroin use in the United States has increased 63 percent from 2002 to 2013. The report also says nearly three out of every 1,000 Americans say they tried heroin during the previous year.
According to the agency's numbers, heroin use has doubled among women and overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled from 2002 to 2013.
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Despite the figures, fatal heroin overdoses decreased last year on Long Island. Drug counselors say those statistics do not reveal the big picture.
"It is fantastic that the rates have dropped. I think it's misleading though, because…it doesn't mean they're accessing quality care for opioid dependence," said Steve Chassman, of LICADD.
Experts say the low cost of the drug is fueling the epidemic, with many people switching from painkillers to heroin.