Heroin-related deaths increase in metro areaPublished 7:08am Sunday, April 15, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS — Heroin-related deaths nearly tripled in three Minnesota counties in 2011, prompting sheriffs in the Twin Cities area on Thursday to issue a public plea for help in combating growing use of the drug in the area.salary
There were 46 heroin-related deaths in Anoka, Hennepin and Ramsey counties last year, compared with 16 in 2010. In Anoka County alone, there were 55 heroin overdoses in which the victim survived in 2011, up from just nine non-fatal overdoses a year earlier.
“We don’t want to see heroin claim more lives and we don’t want another year with huge numbers like that,” Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said. “And even one death, of course, is way too many.”
Stanek, Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom and Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart asked citizens to clean out their medicine cabinets, saying that abuse of prescription painkillers could be a gateway to heroin use. All three counties have set up drop boxes where citizens can safely dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs.
Authorities aren’t calling heroin use an epidemic in the Twin Cities, but they say growing use is a trend they’d like to stop in its tracks.