After Hoffman death, look at drug use in area

February 4, 2014
by Amy Worden
Philadelphia Inquirer

A hypodermic needle was reportedly protruding from his arm, and dozens of empty bags that police said they believed had contained heroin were scattered around him on the bathroom floor of his apartment.

Hoffman's death at 46 comes on the heels of a rash of overdoses from a potent form of tainted heroin in Western Pennsylvania. Twenty-two Pittsburgh-area residents have died in recent weeks in what the city's medical examiner is calling "a public health crisis."

Heroin use is cyclical in the United States. The most recent surge has been fueled by a rise in prescription drug abuse, the deaths from which have quadrupled since 1999, according to a national report released last fall by the Trust for America's Health.


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