NBC explores America's heroin crisis

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POSTED: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 8:15am

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 8:22am

Heroin abuse in America has nearly doubled in the past decade and with it, overdose deaths have spiked almost 50 percent. The deaths of well-known personalities such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cory Monteith have raised awareness of this spreading epidemic, but the struggles faced by many addicts and their families are often hidden or under-reported. Starting Monday, April 7, NBC News national correspondent Kate Snow will present a special multi-platform series—“Hooked: America’s Heroin Epidemic”—revealing intimate portraits of recovering and current addicts who reflect the changing face of heroin use.

Snow traveled from St. Louis to Rutland, Vermont and several cities in between to tell the story of what one doctor called the "cultural change" of rising heroin use. She also gained rare access to a treatment courtroom, where sentences are focused on getting help for offenders and breaking the cycle of substance abuse. Throughout Snow's interviews, individuals chose to speak openly, show their faces, and let NBC's cameras into their lives in the hopes of raising awareness and reducing the stigma of addiction so others may have confidence to seek the help they need.

The full series, “Hooked: America’s Heroin Epidemic,” runs all week and will be featured across NBC’s platforms, including “NBC Nightly News,” “TODAY,” and NBCNews.com. Social media users can join the conversation and share their thoughts on how heroin has touched their lives with hashtag the #HeroinInAmerica. Follow Kate Snow on Twitter at @tvkatesnow.

For more information on how to get help click here.

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