Heroin Use on Rise in Twin Cities Metro
Anoka County Sheriff Bruce Andersohn and Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek are teaming up to let the Twin Cities know the truth about heroin use in their two counties.
A report by the Department of Human Services released in 2009 says Minneapolis has the highest purity level of Mexican heroin of any U.S. city, and sells the drug for the lowest prices.
Between January and November in 2009, there were 22 reported heroin deaths in the metro area. In 2008, there were 14 people who died due to heroin overdoses, according to medical examiner data in Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
“What we’re talking about here today is the human toll of heroin in our communities,” Andersohn said, ”In the last 14 months alone in Anoka County, we’ve seen five overdose deaths and that is a tragedy.”
The report also showed for the first time in recent history, treatment admissions for heroin and other opiates combined surpassed the number of admissions for cocaine. Andersohn and Stanek are warning parents, educators, health care providers, counselors and young people to be aware of the dangers and prevalence of heroin.
“To the heroin-users in our community, let me say this: You may not be afraid of jail, but you might be afraid of dying,” Stanek said.
The Hennepin County Jail is reporting more inmates booked into the facility who have used heroin prior to their arrest. According to a 2009 drug use survey at the jail, approximately seven percent of arrestees at the Hennepin County Jail have used opiates within 24 hours prior to incarceration. In 2000, the number was about roughly three percent. Nearly all of the arrestees described the opiate they used as heroin.
“We have the opportunity and responsibility to recognize and address this problem early," Stanek said.
January 12, 2010
MyFox Twin Cities
Video can be found at Heroin Use on Rise in Twin Cities Metro