Medical Examiner: Oregon Heroin Deaths On The Rise

State Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Gunson says the number of heroin overdose deaths has been climbing in recent years in Oregon.
     The 143 deaths last year were 53 more than the year before and
the most since 2000 when 131 died. Gunson told The Oregonian the increase has to do with the availability of the drug and the fact that black tar heroin cannot be easily cut, so users don't know it may be strong enough to kill.
     Portland police also say heroin is cheaper than the prescription
painkiller oxycodone.
     Gunson says heroin deaths peaked in Oregon in 1990 with about
250. The numbers dropped until about 2005 when they started going
up again. She expects more than 100 people will die this year of
heroin overdoses in Oregon.

​Associated Press

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