LEWISTON — Heroin arrests and overdoses are on the rise in Maine.

The state Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services said heroin killed three times as many people in Maine in 2012 than in 2011. Drug agents have made 99 heroin busts the first five months of the year, compared to 127 for all of last year.

Officials tell the Sun Journal of Lewiston that heroin use has risen as oxycodone and other opiates have become more expensive for addicts and harder to obtain.

Heroin was the primary drug or one of the primary drugs in 21 Maine deaths last year, compared to six the year before.

In 2013, more than 1,100 people have sought treatment for heroin addiction, compared to 2,241 for all of 2012.

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