21-year-old overdoses on heroin in Fountain Hills

FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ - Experts say the Tuesday discovery of more than 100 pounds of heroin in Pinal County underscores the drug's problem here in the Valley.

Just ask Brandon Bauer's family.

Last Wednesday, Brandon's mother found her son's lifeless body on his bedroom floor at their Fountain Hills home.

Based on evidence found at the scene, investigators believe Brandon overdosed on heroin.

"There wasn't time for a reaction other than tears," said Brandon's grandfather Jim DeArmond. "His life was still in front of him."

According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, the Valley saw 139 people 21-years-of-age and under go to the emergency room for heroin in 2004.

In 2009, the most recent year statistics are available, that number spiked to 445.

That's an increase of more than 200 percent.

"It's disturbing," said Shelley Mowrey with DrugFreeAZ.org .

Mowrey says teens often switch to heroin for a cheaper high when other drugs such as Oxycodone become too expensive.

"Heroin is out there and a lot of kids are getting sick and dying from it so it's something we all need to be aware of," said Mowrey.

DeArmond wanted to share his story so that other families might not have to go through what his has.

"What he found (heroin) was right here in Fountain Hills," said DeArmond.

And DeArmond says, if it can happen in Fountain Hills, it can happen anywhere.

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