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Heroin Overdose Deaths Still Rising in St. Charles County

Michael Calhoun (@michaelcalhoun, mrcalhoun@cbs.com)
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A heroin town hall meeting at Francis Howell North High School on November 7, 2012 (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

A heroin town hall meeting at Francis Howell North High School on November 7, 2012 (KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. PETERS (KMOX) - In recent weeks, KMOX News has reported that heroin overdose deaths are finally on the decline in St. Louis County. But cross the river and the news isn’t so good.

St. Charles County authorities report that overdose deaths stand at 19 for the year and will almost certainly wind up doubling the number of yearly deaths seen a decade ago.

One potential reason, Jared Opsal with the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse said, is because there have been almost thirty town hall meetings in St. Louis County, whereas the informational campaign is just now expanding to the region’s other counties.

The latest was Wednesday, at Francis Howell North High.

<< WHEN IS THE NEXT TOWN HALL? >>

Opsal said so many parents, especially in areas like St. Charles and west and south St. Louis County, are still in denial.

“It’s happening at the high school parties,” he warned. “Kids are bringing pills of heroin and pills of prescription drugs, picking them out of a bowl and eating them and snorting them.”

At the start of the new year, Opsal said local officials would begin a new round of town hall forums — this time targeted at middle schoolers and their parents.

The United Way, meantime, is setting aside approximately $1 million to help break those who’ve already fallen victim to addiction.
“What it’s doing is opening up more beds for people that need help to go and get treatment,” including detox and counseling programs.

KMOX © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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