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Experts Say Tough Economy Drives Spike In Heroin

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DETROIT (AP) – Experts say tough economic times are causing drug abusers to turn to cheaper and more dangerous alternatives such as heroin.

Lt. Darcy Leutzinger, head of Warren’s Special Investigation Division, tells The Detroit News heroin is cheaper than pills, and it’s a high that lasts a long time.”

Leutzinger says a packet of heroin costs about $10 in suburban Detroit, compared to $40 for OxyContin and other painkillers.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services say opiates or opioids, which include heroin, were involved in 680 overdose deaths in Michigan last year.

The Michigan Department of Community Health Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction Services’ 2011 annual report showed the number of people receiving treatment for heroin abuse in the state jumped from 7,857 in 2001 to 10,924 last year.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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