Some states, including Michigan, are reporting a rise in heroin use as many addicts shift from more costly and harder-to-get prescription opiates to this cheaper alternative.
With heroin use rising across the U.S., The Associated Press queried state health departments, medical examiner's offices and law enforcement agencies across the nation for statistics related to use, overdoses and treatment to obtain a more detailed picture of the problem on the ground. While some states reported few changes, others pointed to heroin as a significant public health concern.
Heroin overdose deaths in Michigan increased from 271 from the four-year period of 1999-2002 to 728 from 2010-2012. Admissions to publicly funded programs for heroin treatment nearly doubled from 7,300 in 2000 to about 13,600 in 2013.