‘An Epidemic Of Heroin’: Hoffman Is A New Face Of Growing Problem

Source: Brian Alexander / NBC News

The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent overdose of heroin has, like the death of “Glee” star Cory Monteith, highlighted the resurgence in use of a narcotic that once seemed to be fading away.

The number of heroin users in the U.S. nearly doubled in five years, to 669,000 in 2012 from 373,000 in 2007, according to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The number who abused or grew dependent on heroin more than doubled in 10 years to 467,000 in 2012 from 214,000 in 2002.

Those numbers coincide with trends for drug-induced deaths. In November, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report declared that “deaths from drug overdose have increased sharply in the past decade,” claiming 40,393 people in 2010.

“Up here in the Cleveland area, we are going through an epidemic of heroin,” Dr. Jason Jerry, a psychiatrist and addiction medicine expert at the Cleveland Clinic’s Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center told NBC News.

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