Is there a heroin problem in Central Missouri?
Wed, 28 Sep 2011 02:00:00 GMT —
More than a hundred drug users were arrested Tuesday after a massive drug round-up in St. Louis.
The drug sweep covered a wide area from Lincoln County, Missouri through St. Louis and into Illinois.
Police said they hope this puts a dent in the local heroin market and sends a message to users, dealers and traffickers that police are out to get them.
So is heroin a problem closer to home?
Local authorities said they've seen more people arrested for heroin use over the last year.
The only thing worse is that they said more people have died because of it.
So is there a heroin problem in Cole County and Jefferson City?
"First of all if there is any heroin then you have a problem with heroin. So yes we do have a problem, Cole County Sheriff Greg White said. It appears to be on the rise. Heroin is probably our number one drug we have an issue with."
So why is heroin use on the rise?
According to the Justice Department's National Drug Threat Assessment, a new supply of fresh heroin from Afghanistan is driving down prices.
Also Sheriff White tells me he usually sees people turn to heroin when they're trying to cope with life's problems.
"It seems to me that when everything is good, and people want to party they tend to gravitate more towards cocaine and meth. But when it's a situation when they're coping, then it tends to be an heroin issue, White said.
It's an issue Jefferson City Police Department deal with as well, and they've seen it become more deadly over time.
"Our overdoses have increased more than what I TMve see in the 20-years I TMve been here. The fatality overdoses have sky rocketed. We've probably had at least over the last two years ten to twelve overdoses, Jefferson City Police Dept. Detective Mark Edwards said.
Law enforcement in many parts of the country report heroin users are getting younger, and the highway patrol told me stopping the abuse starts in the schools.
So what is the best way to stop this problem?
" I don't know if there is one best way that works. You have education in the schools that works. School resource officers and the dare program works, MO State Highway Patrol Greg Kindle said. Enforcement also plays a role, and the judicial side of it, where the sentences are handed out to abusers works too."
All local law enforcement tell me they aren't just watching for heroin users, but every drug user.
If you would like to learn more about what the drug heroin can do to your body click here.