- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The state of Mississippi is on pace to have more than six times the number of fatal heroin overdoses this year, compared to 2014.

WLBT-TV (https://bit.ly/1hPpvBe ) reports that there have been 13 heroin overdose deaths in the first six months of this year. There were four such deaths last year.

Dr. Randy Easterling, who practices addiction medicine at the Marion Hill Chemical Dependency Unit in Vicksburg, says there has also been a rise in HIV cases, which could be connected to intravenous heroin use.

Easterling says heroin users have especially high mortality rates because intravenous use has a rapid onset time.

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Information from: WLBT-TV, https://www.wlbt.com

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