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The GBI says the number of heroin cases sent to their crime lab has more than tripled in the past three years.

That's happening while other types of drug cases in the state are dropping.

That's according to a news release from the GBI.

USA Today recently reported that heroin and other opiate addiction is now claiming more lives in many communities than violent crime and car crashes.

In New York City, for example, the 730 drug overdose fatalities in 2012 — with half of those estimated to be related to heroin and prescription opiates — were nearly double the number of homicides.

The GBI statement did not address the number of heroin deaths in Georgia.

But it listed the number of heroin submissions to the crime lab since 2011:

2011: 276

2012: 356 (up 29 percent)

2013: 717 (up 101 percent)

So far in fiscal 2014: 863.

At that rate, the GBI would hit more than 1,000 cases for the year. That would be an increase of nearly 150 percent over last year and an increase of nearly 400 percent.

The GBI says there were 29,067 cases involving all other types of drug; so far this year, there were 22,622.

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