Three-quarters of U.S. high school students who use heroin first tried narcotic painkillers, a new survey reveals.
Survey results from nearly 68,000 high school seniors provide some clues to heroin’s recent deadly path from the inner city into affluent suburbs and rural communities.
“The more times a teen uses nonprescribed painkiller pills, the greater the risk he or she is at for becoming dependent on the drug,” said lead researcher Joseph Palamar, an assistant professor of population health at New York University.
“People who become dependent on painkiller pills often wind up resorting to heroin use because it’s cheaper and more available than these pills,” Palamar explained.
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