By TED HESSON
Heroin is “pouring into rural areas of states such as Washington,” according to an article in The Wall Street Journal today.
A chart accompanying the piece shows a scary jump in heroin use — more than all other major drugs.
But what they’re actually showing is the percent change in numbers of heroin users. Basically that the number of users is growing at a faster rate than other drugs over the past few years.
That’s misleading. Of all major drugs, heroin is actually used by far fewer people overall.
Nearly 30 million people smoke pot. A little more than 11 million use prescription pain relievers. And about 600,000 use heroin, according to 2011 stats compiled by the Journal.
That’s not meant to dismiss the rise in heroin users. But it’s important to keep that usage in perspective.
Here’s the number of heroin users ranked next to other drugs: