Tag Archives: New Hampshire

W. Va. heroin deaths tripled in 2012

overdoseHeroin overdose deaths in West Virginia tripled in 2012 compared to just five years ago, and the state saw a 53% increase in heroin overdose-related deaths last year compared to 2011.

According to this article, which cites statistics released by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Health Statistics Center, between 2007 and 2012, the state’s health statistics center in Charleston reported that a total of 240 deaths were caused by heroin overdoses through the state, increasing from a total of 22 in 2007 to 66 in 2012.

Berkeley County has seen a total of 48 deaths, Jefferson County saw a total of 14 deaths and Morgan County was listed as having seven heroin overdose deaths in that same time period, the article says.

In Berkeley County, the statistics center attributed just one death to a fatal heroin overdose in 2007, but by last year, the number had increased to 13, the article says. Jefferson County saw its highest number of heroin overdose deaths in 2008 and 2010, when four deaths were directly attributed to heroin, but the number dropped to just one in 2012, while Morgan County saw just one heroin overdose death recorded in 2011, which increased to three last year, according to the article.

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Cheap, high-grade heroin floods New England

needle ODRecent restrictions on doctors in prescribing painkillers has led to a rise in the amount of low-cost heroin in New England states that is increasingly purer and thus more potent and dangerous. According to this article in the New York Times, though heroin was once seen as an urban drug, it has been making an alarming comeback in the smaller cities and towns of New England.

Heroin killed 21 people in Maine last year, three times as many as in 2011, while New Hampshire recorded 40 deaths from heroin overdoses last year, up from just 7 a decade ago, the article says. In Vermont, officials reported that 914 people were treated for heroin abuse last year, up from 654 the year before, an increase of almost 40%, according to the article.

A $6 bag of heroin in New York City nets $10 in southern New England and up to $30 or $40 in northern New England, the article adds, citing law enforcement officials.

According to the article:

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs in the world. About a quarter of everyone who tries it becomes dependent on it. Users can quickly develop a tolerance, prompting them to seek more and more until the pursuit takes over their lives and, often, leads to ruin.

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N.H. becomes 49th state to monitor painkiller prescriptions

New Hampshire is now the 49th state to use a database to keep track of commonly abused drugs, with Gov. John Lynch signing a bill on Tuesday establishing a prescription drug monitoring system.

In 2007-2008, New Hampshire was one of the top ten states for rates of drug use in several categories, including past-year non-medical use of pain relievers among young adults age 18-25, and opiates are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

All other states except Missouri have such databases or have authorized them, according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. But many clinicians are unaware of these programs, and their use varies among states and specialties, notes a recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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