Heroin Deaths in Twin Cities Area Triple; Sheriff Pessimistic


Heroin deaths in the Twin Cities skyrocketed last year as the drug grew more popular, potent, and deadly, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Deaths caused by heroin overdoses in Hennepin, Ramsey, and Anoka counties nearly tripled in 2011 compared to the year before, rising from 16 to 46. New test results showed that heroin purchased in the Twin Cities is 93.5 percent pure — the highest potency in the nation.

“We don’t want to see heroin claim more lives, and we don’t want another year with huge numbers,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. “From the information that we’ve seen so far this year, I’m not optimistic. So far in 2012, there are signs that the heroin problem is persisting, in fact, maybe even growing.” Will Connell, 21, knows all too well how easy it is to overdose on heroin. “You don’t know how strong it is until you get high,” he said. “And then it can be too late. It’s just one of the easier drugs to overdose on.” He and several of his friends have overdosed; some needed medical attention. “None of my friends died, but they came close,” he said. “It’s definitely a wakeup call.”

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