Smoking Heroin
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  • (2008) In terms of absolute numbers, the Russian Federation is particularly affected with its 1.5 million addict population. The hugely damaging threat of HIV/AIDS is directly related to heroin injection. To date, there are over a quarter of a million registered HIV cases (although the number of unregistered cases is estimated to be much higher than this) in the Russian Federation. Of these, over 80% are intravenous drug users. In the CARs, nearly 15 years of continuous heroin transit has created a local market of 282,000 heroin users, consuming approximately 11 mt of heroin annually. Local opium consumption is estimated at approximately 34 mt (although demand in Turkmenistan may be underestimated). This puts some Central Asian states on par with countries with the highest global opiate abuse prevalence.
  • (2006) In 2006, heroin abuse indicators decreased in 7 CEWG areas, were stable in 14, and mixed in 1 (Texas). Injection continued to be the preferred route of heroin administration among primary heroin admissions in most CEWG areas, particularly areas west of the Mississippi River where black tar heroin is the most available form of the drug. Heroin primary treatment admissions, as a percentage of total admissions (excluding primary alcohol admissions), were particularly high in Boston (approximately 76 percent), Baltimore (54 percent), Chicago (47 percent), Detroit and New York City (each 38 percent). As shown in the Cocaine/Crack section (pages 11-20), high percentages of all primary heroin treatment admissions in 10 CEWG areas reported using cocaine as a secondary or tertiary drug, with the proportions ranging from 19 percent in Los Angeles to 43 percent in New York City. Deaths involving heroin or heroin/morphine continued to be high in the Albuquerque, Detroit, Philadelphia, and New York City areas. Purity of white powder heroin, the most likely form to be inhaled or snorted, increased in 2005 in eight CEWG areas after substantial declines in most of these areas from 1999, including a decline in 2004. The purity of Mexican black tar heroin varied across 10 CEWG areas but increased in 4 from 2002 to 2005. CEWG representatives cited changes in the patterns of heroin use, based on a number of factors, including purity levels, the way heroin was used, and the number and types of substances used with heroin.
  • (2005)The proportion of heroin and opium seizures has increased every year since 1999 and seizures of these two drugs increased from 38 percent in 2005 to 67 percent in 2006. At the same time, the number of significant heroin and opium seizures (according to UNODC classification) has also increased.
  • (2002)The incidence of regular heroin use in the canton of Zurich started with about 80 new users in 1975, increased to 850 in 1990, and declined to 150 in 2002, and was thus reduced by 82%. Incidence peaked in 1990 at a similar high level to that ever reported in New South Wales, Australia, or in Italy. But only in Zurich has a decline by a factor of four in the number of new users of heroin been observed within a decade. This decline in incidence probably pertains to the whole of Switzerland because the number of patients in substitution treatment is stable, the age of the substituted population is rising, the mortality caused by drugs is declining, and confiscation of heroin is falling. Furthermore, incidence trends did not differ between urban and rural regions of Zurich. This finding is suggestive of a more similar spatial dynamic of heroin use for Switzerland than for other countries.
  • (2007 - price of heroin) In 2007, a kilogram of heroin no. 3 typically sold for an average wholesale price of $2,520 in Pakistan; the average 2005 per-kilogram wholesale price of heroin no. 4 in that country equaled approximately $4,159. The 2007 wholesale price for a kilogram of heroin in Afghanistan ranged around $2,405. In Colombia, a kilogram of heroin no. 4 typically sold for $9,992 wholesale in 2006. In the United States in 2007, a kilogram of heroin no. 4 cost an average of $71,200 wholesale.

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