Heroin now accounts for 46 percent of police drug buys in St. Louis County.
Members of the St. Louis Area Police Chiefs Association along with the DEA, prosecuting attorneys and local drug treatment centers will host a news conference today addressing the problem of heroin in the St. Louis area.
According to St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch, heroin use in the county has risen significantly over the past five years and last year resulted in 60 overdose deaths. Heroin is now involved in 46 percent of the undercover drug buys made by St. Louis County Police, and the drug itself is four to five times more potent than the heroin sold on the streets just five years ago, says Fitch. The average user is a white male between the ages of 25 and 30.
The goal of today's press conference is to introduce a cohesive front on the part of law enforcement, school districts and other organizations to confront the issue.
"Being that these individuals could be the older siblings, relatives or neighbors of today's high school students; we are concerned that this problem could manifest itself in our schools," says Fitch, who will today outline a three-pronged approach dealing with heroin. That effort includes an education campaign for users and law enforcement; a stricter enforcement of the drug suppliers and treatment options for users.Related content: Heroin Purchased Near Webster Groves Starbucks, Says Drug Counselor