Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG)***
In June 2000, CEWG members reported that heroin indicators showed mixed
trends. Mortality figures were mixed, with deaths increasing notably
in Austin, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Phoenix, and declining
in Miami, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Diego, and Seattle. Emergency
room admissions were also mixed, with 10 cities showing decreases (significant
in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.), and 10 showing increases (particularly
Baltimore and Miami). Heroin continues to account for a substantial
proportion of treatment admissions in some CEWG areas (e.g., 47.8 percent
in Baltimore, 43 percent in New York City, and 32 percent in Detroit).
Heroin injection characterizes a large proportion of primary heroin
treatment admissions (e.g., 90 percent in Texas). During the second
quarter of 1999, the highest purity levels were found in Philadelphia
(71 percent); New York (63.6 percent); Boston (61.4 percent); Newark
(60.7 percent); Atlanta (57.8 percent); and San Diego (57.6 percent).
Purity levels in other CEWG areas ranged from 11.8 percent in Dallas
to 46.7 percent in Detroit. Injecting is on an upward trend among younger
users in Baltimore, Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, New York City,
and Seattle. In Boston, Chicago, Denver, Miami, and Washington, D.C.,
snorting seems to be increasing and is often the starting route for
National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA)ư
The 1999 NHSDA study reports the use of illicit drugs by those people
age 12 and older. The lifetime prevalence (at least one use in a persons
lifetime) for heroin for those people age 12 and older was 1.4 percent.
By age category, 0.4 percent were in the 12-17 range; 1.8 percent were
18-25; and 1.4 percent were users age 26 and older.
"Lifetime" refers to use at least once during a respondent's
lifetime. "Past year" refers to an individual's drug use at least once
during the year preceding their response to the survey. "Past month"
refers to an individual's drug use at least once during the month preceding
their response to the survey.
* State Resources and Services Related to Alcohol and Other Drug Problems
for Fiscal Year 1995: An Analysis of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Profile
Data, written by the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug
Abuse Directors (NASADAD), July 1997, is available from NASADAD at 202-293-0090.
** The MTF survey is conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute
for Social Research and is funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse,
National Institutes of Health; it has tracked 12th graders' illicit
drug use and related attitudes since 1975. In 1991, 8th and 10th graders
were added to the study. For the 1998 study, 49,866 students were surveyed
from a representative sample of 422 public and private schools nationwide.
Copies of the latest survey are available from the National Clearinghouse
for Alcohol and Drug Information at 1-800-729-6686.
*** CEWG is
a NIDA-sponsored network of researchers from 20 major U.S. metropolitan
areas and selected foreign countries who meet semiannually to discuss
the current epidemiology of drug abuse. CEWG's most recent report is
Epidemiologic Trends in Drug Abuse, Volume I, June 2000.
ư NHSDA is an annual survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services administration. Copies of the latest survey are available
from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at
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