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Worrisome increase in heroin use

Thomas Purtell, chief of the NYPD Organized Crime

Thomas Purtell, chief of the NYPD Organized Crime Control Bureau, speaks at a press conference on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 to announced the argest DEA heroin seizure in New York and the 4th largest seizure in the country. Credit: Linda Rosier

62 percent:

That's how much heroin use in the United States increased in just under a decade. Experts say the widespread crackdown on prescription painkillers has pushed some people to choose heroin instead. The fight against drug addiction is an endlessly morphing battle everywhere, including on Long Island, where 137 heroin overdose deaths were reported in 2014. There is a bit of good news, though: Heroin use among 12- to 17-year-olds and minorities declined. Perhaps we can begin to build on that.