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More Americans seek treatment for painkiller, heroin abuse

Staff writer |
More American teens and adults are seeking treatment for heroin and prescription painkiller abuse, a new U.S. government report reveals.

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In 2013, heroin accounted for 19 percent of admissions to publicly funded substance-use treatment programs - up from 15 percent a decade earlier, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported.

And admissions related to narcotic painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, jumped from 3 percent to 9 percent between 2003 and 2013, the report says.

The report, released Thursday, reflects changing patterns of substance abuse in the United States among people 12 and older.

Although alcohol is still the main reason people seek treatment, the proportion of booze-related admissions decreased from 42 percent to 38 percent during the study period.

And overall, the report found that admissions for publicly funded substance-use treatment fell from nearly 1.9 million in 2003 to just under 1.7 million in 2013.


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