MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A rise in heroin abuse across northern New England is being blamed partly on aggressive marketing by out-of-state drug dealers and the higher cost of prescription drugs sold illegally on the streets.

In Vermont, Rutland Police Chief James Baker calls the spike in heroin use "mind boggling."

Manchester Police Chief David Mara says he's seen a definite "uptick" in heroin cases in New Hampshire's largest city.

In Maine, Portland is reporting the terrible consequences. The city had 14 drug overdoses in a single month, including four in one 24-hour period. One person died of a suspected overdose.

Vermont's U.S. attorney is leading federal, state and local officers in a crackdown, and efforts also are underway to combat the problem through education and treatment programs.

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