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White, suburban youth choosing heroin

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DAYTON, Ohio, Jul 26, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Heroin use among white suburban youth in Ohio's Miami Valley, and perhaps across the nation, is making a comeback, the Dayton Daily News reported Monday.

"There is suddenly something exotic about the use of heroin," said Harvey Siegal, director of the Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions research at Wright State University, "Younger users are trying out the drug, and are passing their 'euphoria' on to their friends."

About 126 heroin-related admissions were reported to publicly funded treatment facilities in Dayton in 2002, the last year for which data is available. In 1995, that number was 68.

Heroin-related sentences handed out in area courts made up close to one out of 10 drug-related sentences, while nationally that number is closer to one out of 20, the National Drug Intelligence Center reported.

Ohio's Miami Valley may be a mirror of the nation. The National Institute for Health said that U.S. heroin abuse has increased 35 percent since 1995.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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