Hundreds rally to spread awareness of heroin 'epidemic' in St. Louis area

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 15 at 11:23 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Hundreds gathered under the Arch on Saturday to spread awareness of heroin, a drug organizers say has become an epidemic in the area.

Christine Harris lost her daughter Amanda a year and a half ago when she overdosed on heroin.

"You know something's gonna happen with them," Harris said. "They're either gonna go to jail or die. We prayed she went to jail and she didn't. She died."

Rally organizers say heroin use is growing in the St. Louis area, and has become the number one cause of accidental death in the nation.

Mark Kleinschmidt is a recovering addict who said he was hooked on the drug for 25 years.

"It just destroys you," Kleinschmidt said. "Heroin just slowly takes away everything you have. It starts to feel good, everything's fine, then it just pulls the bottom out from underneath you."

Several elected officials were also in attendance at the rally, including the mayor of Wentzville who lost his niece to the drug earlier this year.

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