Reports show heroin use in Iowa is on the rise - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Reports show heroin use in Iowa is on the rise

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - According to the 2014 Iowa Drug Control Strategy report, the number of Iowans to die from heroin overdose leaped 700 percent from 2003 to 2012.

The report says more than 51,000 people were treated for substance abuse in fiscal year 2013, the highest number ever for clients admitted for treatment. That number includes the highest percentage in a decade for those treated specifically for heroin and marijuana. The percentage of adults treated for meth is the highest it's been in seven years. Alcohol remains the highest percentage, with 51.2 percent of those seeking treatment needing it for alcohol use.

The Drug Control Strategy report finds Iowa's youth to have access to the fastest form of substance abuse, which is with prescription drugs. Local agencies, like the Dubuque Drug Task Force, say this is often how heroin addicts start. Officials say once prescription pills become too expensive, or harder to get, addicts will resort to cheaper alternatives like heroin.

The Dubuque Drug Task Force said earlier this year that, since 2011, it's conducted nearly 70 heroin-related investigations.

Cost and the drug's addictiveness both play roles in the number of Iowans using, and dying from, heroin. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports one in every four people who try heroin become dependent on the drug.

Cedar Valley Recovery Services is a local agency at which heroin addicts can receive assistance and direction, with clinics in both Cedar Falls and Marion.

Read the full report by clicking here.
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