MARYLAND HEIGHTS (KMOX) – St. Louis County is on pace to lose twice as many people to heroin this year over last year.

“The primary place that we see, as far as heroin abuse, is coming from our west areas and our south areas,” Police chief Tim Fitch says.

He says local users are beginning around 17-years-old and are dying at about 25-years-old. Thursday was the first of three town halls, with experts on what parents should look for and how they should respond.

It was held at Pattonville High School, not because they’re part of the problem but because they were brave enough to step forward.

“Some schools are in denial,” Fitch says. “We applaud Pattonville for letting us use their facilities because quite a few wouldn’t, for fear of being labeled as a heroin high school.”

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