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Region on pace for 300 heroin-related deaths this year

by Mark Schnyder

Posted on June 23, 2011 at 6:42 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 23 at 12:47 PM

There's a new website worth your time if you're a parent of a teen OR a teen or young adult.

It's  It's a nice, detailed resource about what heroin does to the body and how it destroys lives.  It's not graphic at all and is very easy to understand.

The Director of Community Services for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA) in the St. Louis area, Dan Duncan told me about it.

He describes the heroin situation around here as an "epidemic" because it's such a rapidly-growing public health concern.  Young people are dying all the time.

A while back I did a story on a group of young people demonstrating outside the Granite City City Hall, urging city leaders and law enforcement to work harder to get heroin dealers off the streets and get the drug out of their community... The guy who organized it lost a couple of friends around that time to overdosing on heroin.

At the event I met a young woman who didn't look too good.  She told me she WAS a heroin addict but had given it up.  She's turning her life around.  I told her, "that's great and good luck."

A few months later I met a Granite City police officer who saw my story (I had interviewed the young woman) and he told me that young woman in my report had died from a heroin overdose.

I shared this with Dan Duncan.  I asked him why so many kids are messing with a drug THEY KNOW is killing their peers.  He says people that age think they're invincible but clearly they are not.

"You are not stronger than this drug," says Duncan.  "And if you start messing with this drug it's highly addictive and you will become addicted to it and there's a good chance along the way it will kill you."