Twin Cities heroin problem continues to grow


In the Anoka County suburb of St. Francis, dozens of parents piled into the middle school Thursday night to launch an effort to combat an alarming heroin problem, KSTP reported.

Law enforcement says the number of deaths due to heroin overdoses in the county has tripled in the last two years. The most recent death was 20-year-old Robert McCullough of Andover. His funeral was held Monday.

Young adults, ages 18 to 25, are the target market for the drug that's becoming more and more available in suburban neighborhoods. Not only is it easy to find, authorities have also found Minnesota has some of the purest and cheapest heroin in the country -- a lethal combination for young people.

Hennepin County leads the metro in heroin deaths with 43 so far this year, the television station said. The problem is widespread, ranging from the Twin Cities to Duluth to western Wisconsin.

"We're experiencing challenges in the suburbs because people don't want to admit it could happen to them, it could happen in their community, it could happen in their schools and it could happen to their kids. People don't want to admit that and it's part of the problem," Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart told KSTP.

A group of 20 St. Francis residents recently formed a coalition to raise awareness about heroin's risks and to teach parents how to step in if they suspect their kids are abusing the drug.

In September, the state unveiled a campaign to strengthen drug-prevention efforts using schools, drug courts, correctional facilities, the medical community and family-based counseling.

Next Up

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.


St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.52.12 AM

After fire destroyed their house, couple forced to euthanize beloved dog

The couple's daughter has launched a fundraiser for her parents.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.16.14 AM

Investigation after teacher accused of lewd act during distance learning

No charges have been filed yet and the staff member has not been identified.