Heroin and painkillers — it’s the same drug crisis.
Good piece in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/hoffman-and-the-terrible-heroin-deaths-in-the-shadows/283533/
Drug thefts rise as pill mills close: http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/crime-courts/2014-01-31/drug-thefts-rise-pill-mills-close
Heroin epidemic in South Florida: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/29/3900913/report-heroin-epidemic-in-south.html
Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment today, a syringe in his arm and an envelope of suspected heroin nearby. The Oscar-winning actor went to rehab last year for drug abuse after reportedly being clean for more than two decades.
He told TMZ last year that his relapse started with pills and escalated to heroin.
National data isn’t available yet for 2013, but this story out of Minneapolis shows a surge in opiate-related deaths. Interestingly, the study behind the story combined both heroin and prescription painkillers under the umbrella of “opiate-related deaths,” since they are both pieces of the same trend, after all.
This story, out of Pittsburgh, contains more dated statistics, but goes more in-depth and breaks down overdoses across southwestern Pennsylvania counties.