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October 4 2012

Heroin use among young in sharp decline

A generation that became hooked on heroin in the 1980s and 90s is ageing, while young people are now too "savvy" to experiment with the drug, experts have said.

Some 4,268 adults aged 18 to 24 started treatment for heroin addiction in 2011/12 for the first time, a fall of nearly two-thirds from 11,309 in 2005/06, figures from the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) showed. It is the lowest recorded level of young heroin addicts.

The over-40s now make up almost a third of the whole treatment population, with more than 16,000 starting a new course of treatment last year.

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