In suburbs of New York City, authorities say young adults are turning to heroin with alarming frequency, reports the New York Times. Last year, the federal National Drug Intelligence Center ranked heroin alongside cocaine as the most serious drug threats in the New York area. Over the last three years, heroin seizures in New York City – a prime entry point to the U.S. for suppliers worldwide – have more than doubled, to 233 kilograms in 2006 from 114 kilograms in 2004. Federal officials say heroin use is rising among a crucial demographic: young adults in suburban and rural communities, particularly those in the Northeast.
Other drugs are used by more 8th, 10th and 12th graders nationwide; use of most drugs, like heroin, has remained fairly constant in recent years after declining early in this decade. Medical experts and law enforcement officials also say that as more young people in the Northeast turn to heroin, more are ending up in jail, hospital emergency rooms, or the morgue.