BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Jefferson County has seen a spike in heroin related deaths this year, with 13 fatalities in April.
The Birmingham News reports from January to April 30, heroin was a factor in 23 deaths logged by the county coroner's office, including 21 from overdoses and two others in which heroin contributed. Most of the people who died were under 40.
Authorities say April's heroin death tally is the highest single-month count in recent memory. Jefferson County recorded a total of 18 heroin related deaths in 2009 and 12 in 2010.
The number began to rise last year, when 30 people died from heroin related deaths in the country.
If the trend continues, the heroin death toll could exceed last year's total.