Some states, including North Carolina, are reporting a rise in heroin
use as many addicts shift from more costly and harder-to-get
prescription opiates to this cheaper alternative.
In the decade beginning in 1999, North Carolina averaged 53 deaths a
year from drug overdoses, with the final year of that decade the outlier
with 81 fatalities, according to data from death certificates compiled
by the State Center for Health Statistics. The drug's deadly effects
have expanded since then. Deaths then rose to 81 in 2009; 85 in 2011;
and 160 in 2012. The total fell to 106 last year, though not all
post-mortem drug tests are finalized for 2013. None have been recorded
yet in 2014. For more information, follow this story here.