Drugs: Heroin and Death

The victims ranged in age from 15 to 35. They were found in abandoned buildings, in hallways, on rooftops and in basements throughout New York City. Some still had needles protruding from their arms. All were heroin users, and their deaths were causing unusual concern last week—even in a city where heroin abuse killed a total of 650 people last year and more people in the 15-to-35 age group than did murder or disease or any other single cause, including automobile accidents.

Especially disturbing was the soaring death rate. On an average weekend in New York, five heroin fatalities are...

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