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Heroin goes mainstream

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NEW YORK -- The image of the heroin user is changing, according to researchers, who say the great majority are now white men and women who mostly live outside the cities.

Their study, published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry, tracked data from almost 2,800 heroin users and found first-time users are now generally older than those who began taking the drug in the 1960s. About 90 per cent are white, according to the study, and 75 per cent now live in non-urban areas.

Heroin "is not confined to inner-city areas," said Theodore Cicero, the lead author and vice-chairman for research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. "It's now a mainstream problem."

-- Washington Post

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 31, 2014 D5

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