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Article posted: 11/17/2013 6:00 AM

Mexican cartel finds more buyers for cheap, potent heroin among Midwestern youth

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Isabelle Triezenberg, 21, looks more like a cheerleader or camp counselor than a recovering heroin addict. But in many ways she exemplifies a new generation that is less intimidated by the drug. She is shown outside the drug court's recovery home in Joliet last month.

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

A public defender with a prisoner in the Will County Jail appear for drug court before Carla Alessio-Policandriotes, a circuit judge with the Illinois Twelfth Circuit in Joliet. More people are using heroin than at any time since the 1970s.

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

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Kaelan Mondragon's death last March in Wheaton was one of 43 fatal heroin overdoses so far this year in DuPage County. County coroner Richard Jorgensen said heroin deaths increased to 43 last year from 26 in 2011. Similar spikes in fatal heroin overdoses have been recorded in other counties surrounding Chicago. Neighboring Will County had 53 last year, up from 30 in 2011.
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    • Isabelle Triezenberg, 21, looks more like a cheerleader or camp counselor than a recovering heroin addict. But in many ways she exemplifies a new generation that is less intimidated by the drug. She is shown outside the drug court’s recovery home in Joliet last month.
    • A public defender with a prisoner in the Will County Jail appear for drug court before Carla Alessio-Policandriotes, a circuit judge with the Illinois Twelfth Circuit in Joliet. More people are using heroin than at any time since the 1970s.
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