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By Alex Goldman
Missouri law enforcement officials report an increase in use of illegal heroin in Missouri. Officials predict about 300 persons will have died in the state from heroin overdoses by the end of the year. Just six years earlier, in 2005, the state recorded 50 heroin fatalities.
Marilyn Smashey’s son, Taylor Green, died when he was 18 due to a heroin overdose. She said Taylor liked spending time with friends and family, but he also became interested in experimenting with drugs before his 15th birthday.
Green’s story is just one of hundreds statewide that end with a teenager dying from a heroin overdose. Police officials say they expect more than 300 deaths due to heroin overdose by the end of 2011.
Chuck Boschert, the commander for the West County Precinct in St. Louis and former Drug Enforcement Administration task force specialist, said the availability of the drug creates a new demographic of affluent drug users.
Boschert said the drug is tailored for a new clientele because it can easily be snorted in pill form as opposed to using needles.
Smashey, along with other parents who lost a child to heroin, plans to share her story with the state with the hope of increasing heroin awareness among parents and children across Missouri.