A recent article in the Star Tribune reports heroin deaths in the Twin Cities made a large increase last year as the drug grew more popular and potent.
Heroin-related deaths nearly tripled in Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka 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, the Albert Lea Tribune reports.
"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."
According to the Star Tribune, new test results showed that heroin purchased in the Twin Cities is 93.5 percent pure -- the highest potency in the nation.
"You don't know how strong it is until you get high," 21-year-old Will Connell said. "And then it can be too late. It's just one of the easier drugs to overdose on."
Connell is a former heroin user who has been sober for 20 months, the Star Tribune said. Analyzing his own pathway to heroin use, he said it is important to stop young teens from abusing drugs that are easier to access.
"It all starts with people being more conscious about prescription pill abuse," Connell said.