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Heroin Use, Addiction and Overdose Deaths Surge in U.S.

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 (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

More than 8,200 Americans died of heroin-related overdoses in 2013, almost four times the number who died in 2002. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reports a sharp rise in heroin use and addiction across almost all demographic groups. Experts attribute the upsurge to the drug’s wider availability and lower cost and to an increase in prescription painkiller abuse, which is a strong risk factor for heroin addiction. We discuss what’s underlying today’s heroin epidemic and what can be done to end it.

Guests:

Tracey Helton, author of "The Big Fix"; featured in the HBO documentary, "Black Tar Heroin"

Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Stanford School of Medicine; research scientist, VA Medical Center in Palo Alto

Sam Quinones, author of "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic"

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