Heroin-Related Drug Deaths Highest Among Young, White Males in the Midwest

stoned man with heroin addiction sitting in bathroom

Heroin-related deaths are now most common among young, white male adults in the Midwest, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fifteen years ago, the death rate was highest among older black males in the West and Northeast.

In 2013, there were 8,257 heroin-related deaths in the United States, up from 5,925 the previous year, CBS News reports. There were about 3,000 heroin-related deaths in 2010. The deaths have increased among both men and women, in all ages groups, and in whites, blacks and Hispanics, the article notes.

In 2000, the highest heroin death rate was among blacks ages 45 to 64. By 2013, the highest rate was among whites ages 18 to 44.

Drug overdoses are the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States, with 43,982 deaths occurring in 2013, according to the CDC.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, opioid use disorders often begin with a prescription or taking pills from a home medicine cabinet. Almost 68 percent of people who begin using prescription drugs non-medically for the first time get the drugs from a family member or friend. Many people who initially abused prescription painkillers shifted to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to obtain.

Heroin