Heroin use may be rising across the country, but people in the Northeast are much more likely to say that it's a serious problem in their community
Since the death of Oscar-winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman after overdosing on heroin and other drugs, growing attention has been paid to heroin abuse in the United States. From 2007 to 2012, the number of regular heroin users has increased from 373,000 to 669,000, while annual deaths from heroin overdoses top 3,000. The growth in heroin use hasn't been evenly distributed across the country, however, with Northeastern cities, particularly the suburbs of New York, seeing major increases in heroin abuse. Even seemingly idyllic New England towns are now grappling with serious heroin problems.
The latest research from YouGov shows, in fact, that the Northeast is the only region of the country where heroin abuse is seen as the greatest problem in local communities. 39% of people in the Northeast say that heroin is a very serious problem in their community, compared to 21% of people in the Midwest, 20% of people in the South and 31% of people in the West.
In fact, in the West, methamphetamine use is seen as being just as serious a problem as heroin use is in the Northeast, with 39% calling it a 'very serious' problem for their community. Methamphetamine is also seen as the most serious problem in the Midwest, though there only 24% of people say that it is a 'very serious' issue. In the South, 53% of people report that prescription drug abuse is a 'very' or 'somewhat serious' problem for their community, compared to 50% who say that methamphetamine use is.
People in the Northeast are, appropriate, far more likely to know someone who uses heroin. 18% of people in the Northeast know someone who uses heroin, compared to 8% in the Midwest and 7% in the South and West. 10% of people in the Midwest know someone who uses methamphetamines, as do 11% of people in the West.
Overall, 25% of Americans know someone who abuses prescription drugs, though people in the South (27%) are the most likely to know a prescription drug abuser.
Full poll results can be found here.