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Heroin, Opiate Abuse Reach Record-High Levels In Metro

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The abuse of heroin and other opiates has reached the highest level in the Twin Cities’ history, according to a report released by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).

The report on Twin Cities’ drug abuse trends found that heroin accounted for 10 percent of addiction treatment admissions in the first half of 2011, compared to 3.3 percent in 2000. Other opiates, including prescription painkillers, accounted for 9.3 percent of treatment admissions in the first half of 2011, compared to 1.4 percent in 2000.

The use of synthetic drugs, which include “fake pot,” “research chemicals” and “bath salts,” also increased in 2011.

“With the emergence and growth of these dangerous and addictive drugs, it is imperative that communities educate themselves, embrace prevention efforts, and become part of the solution,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, noting an unprecedented rate of one in five treatment admissions for opiate addiction. “Community involvement is the key to reversing these trends.”

The drug trends report has been prepared by Carol Falkowski, DHS drug abuse strategy officer, twin annually since 1986.

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