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Health Highlights: Dec. 21, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Young Adults' Cocaine Use Rises in 16 States

Nearly 1 in 20 young adults in the United States use cocaine, a federal government study says.

In 2014-15, 4.9 percent of adults ages 18-25 reported past-year use of the drug. Rates were unchanged in 34 states and the District of Columbia, but rose in 16 states, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Rates varied from 1.8 percent in Mississippi to 10.5 percent in New Hampshire.

Cocaine is highly addictive and poses significant health risks, including heart attack and strokes.

"These increases signal the need for states and communities to continue working together, educating and training others on the dangers of cocaine use," Frances Harding, director of SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, said in an agency news release.

"Pursuing a comprehensive prevention strategy has proven to be our most effective approach to address substance use issues," Harding added.

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Posted: December 2016

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