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Heroin use a growing problem in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KFGO AM) -- 54 people died as a result of heroin overdoses in Hennipen County last year--a record high, and sharp increase from three-years ago when 8 people died.

Authorities say the growing popularity of heroin can be directly linked to prescription painkiller abuse.

Both are opiates, and once painkillers run out, addicted people may turn to heroin on the street.

A state lawmaker who lost her daughter to a heroin overdose wants all Minnesota law officers to carry Narcan--a counter-reactive drug that could save more lives.

Senator Kris Eaton, who's a registered nurse, will introduce such a bill during the legislative session, which is less than three-weeks away.

Eaton says the heroin crisis is too great to sit and do nothing.

16 other states allow officers to carry and use Narcan, crediting with saving more than 180 lives in the past three-years.