The heroin user has a new face

BOSTON (WWLP) – The face of the typical heroin user has changed over the last 50 years.

More women are using hard drugs, and they’re older, whiter, and more affluent, according the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The JAMA study analyzed demographics of more than 9,300 opioid dependent patients across the country. They found women users jumped from 17 percent in the 60’s to more than half in the last few years.

The average age is up from 16 and a half to 23, and whites dominate opioid use with 90 percent, up from 55 percent in the 60’s.

Most of the users live in the suburbs and the drug of choice has changed from heroin to prescription opioids.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, opiate abuse is on the rise across all demographics. In 2012, about 669,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year, compared to 404,000 ten years earlier.

4.2 million Americans ages 12 or older have used the heroin at least once in their lives, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

For more information on the study, Click Here.

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