DETROIT (WWJ) – A new report out today from the federal government says America’s growing addiction to heroin is reaching more teenagers and young adults.

While the damage is seen among all age groups and ethnicities, a new report on heroin addiction in America from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those who die from heroin-related overdoses increasingly tend to be young, white and from the Midwest.

April Demers is Director of the Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition.

“They are seeing that shift. We are seeing that it is a younger drug, and it is primarily white, middle America population that it is effecting,” said Demers.

Statistically, Monroe County treats more people for prescription drug and heroin addiction than any other county in Michigan.

Demers said the path to heroin addition often begins with prescription drug abuse.

“They start with the vicodin, oxycontin, those opiate pain pills – when they are not able to get them, or not able to afford them – they turn to the cheaper, more accessible alternative; heroin,” said Demers.

Concerned parents should be looking for changes in their children’s behavior, mood, items missing from the house, or even the friends they may bring home, these could be indicators of drug use Demers said.

According to the CDC study — there were over 8,200 heroin-related deaths nationally in 2013, compared to over 5,900 the previous year.

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