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Heroin, painkiller use in Twin Cities at all-time high, state report says

Brady Gervais, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn. –

The abuse of heroin and other opiates reached the highest levels yet in the Twin Cities during the first half of 2011, according to a report the Minnesota Department of Human Services released today.

Nearly one in five patients entering addiction treatment sought help for opiate addiction, according to the study. Heroin accounted for 10 percent of addiction treatment admissions during the first half of 2011, compared with 3.3 percent in 2000. Other opiates, which include most prescription painkillers, accounted for 9.3 percent of treatment admissions in the first half of 2011, compared to 1.4 percent in 2000.

Synthetic drug use was on the rise, too. Hennepin Regional Poison Center saw an increase in reported incidents involving THC homologs (“fake pot” sold as herbal incense,) phenylethylamines (psychoactive drugs such as 2C-E sold as “research chemicals,”) and various chemical compounds sold as “bath salts.”

The report is produced twice a year for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

A copy of the report can be found at:

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