Full Statement from the DEA

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Heroin abuse is not limited to a certain demographic or geographic area. What has been seen as primarily an urban drug in reality is a drug that touches every segment of society. Inner cities, wealthy suburbs, poor rural areas ­ everywhere.  While heroin remains one of the least used illegal drugs in the United States, its abuse is on the rise, leading to many overdoses and deaths.  This increase in abuse is partly becausemany see it as a cheaper alternative to opiate-based painkiller abuse, which has also become an epidemic in the United States.  Heroin and prescription drug abuse are both addiction problems that begin with abuse and are sustained and promoted through increased trafficking. However, since 2011, DEA has opened more than 4,500 investigations related to heroin and we are on track to open many more.  As a result of these aggressive enforcement efforts, the amount of heroin seized along America¹s southwest border increased by more than 320 percent between 2008 and 2013.