ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) _ The number of heroin deaths continues to grow in the St. Louis region.

KMOX Radio ( ) reports that 113 people died of heroin overdoses in St. Louis County last year, 126 in the city and 30 in St. Charles County.

Experts say there are several factors, including easy access to the drug and lack of awareness about the danger. Heroin today is much more pure than in years past and users often don’t know the strength of the drug when they inject it.