Jeff is a police officer dealing with drug issues on a daily basis.
I’m Jeff. I’m a police officer and heroin has become an epidemic in our community. Everyone is using it. We see all gamuts of the population…of the community…overdosing, buying, selling…all of that.
I think, primarily, what we’ve traditionally seen is that people get started abusing opiate prescription pain pills. It appears that it evolves into using heroin. For whatever reason, it’s more prevalent on the street. It’s easier to obtain than the heroin is. It’s become so rampant in the community that there’s just so much out there. It’s a lot easier to get your hands on.
In recent years, heroin usage and overdoses have skyrocketed.
I spent eight years in the special investigations unit at our police department. When I first started back in 2008, the primary drugs that we were seeing on the street were methamphetamine and crack cocaine. We still have an issue with methamphetamine. Crack cocaine has pretty much become obsolete. And what we’ve seen since around 2011, is that heroin has become more and more prevalent.
I think it just boils down to a supply and demand issue. More and more people are hooked on opiate pain pills and needed that alternative. They needed something stronger. They needed something that was easier to obtain. They didn’t have to forge prescriptions to obtain it. They didn’t have to steal pills from their parents…or whoever had their medication. So, it was easier to purchase a tenth of heroin on the street as opposed to the other options to obtain opiates.
So, it was easier to purchase a tenth of heroin on the street as opposed to the other options to obtain opiates.
Heroin usage is spread throughout all demographics.
So when heroin first became a problem in our community, what we saw was mostly lower income people that were using it…that were overdosing on it. Over the years, it’s kinda manifested in a more diverse population. We’re seeing a lot of college age kids who are overdosing, who are getting arrested…having it in their possession. We see just about every population represented.
An extremely addictive drug, heroin also carries an extremely high overdose rate.
I can base it on experience that I’ve had with my specialized assignment. I can tell you that heroin is far more addictive..it appears to be than your other street drugs like methamphetamine or cocaine. And when somebody goes through withdrawals, it’s a completely different set of physical traits. They get very, very sick. So, the addiction itself on heroin alone, it is far more severe. It’s a lot harder to break the addiction as opposed to the other street drugs.
Overdoses…there’s really no good answer for that because you never really know what you’re buying and that’s ultimately the problem. You might think you’re buying straight heroin and you’re not. You could be buying from a dealer who’s cut his heroin with something that’s pretty dangerous.
We’ve seen dealers in our community who’ve cut their heroin with fentanyl, with Benadryl, with all kinds of stuff that people just don’t know what they’re getting. So when they ingest this, it could be the last time that they use drugs. They could overdose just off of that and potentially die.
We’ve seen dealers in our community who’ve cut their heroin with fentanyl, with Benadryl, with all kinds of stuff that people just don’t know what they’re getting.
Removal of illicit drugs within our communities begins with intelligence.
I think ultimately it comes down to intelligence. I think you have to identify the source of where the drugs are coming from. You have to pinpoint that and you have to target it.
We’ve had success in the past with doing that in conjunction with federal agencies. We targeted a crack cocaine dealer here in town. It was probably the single largest crack cocaine dealer that we had in our community. It never really regained traction after he was indicted.
I think if we had that kind of intelligence and we could pinpoint the primary source. And there is most likely more than one. If we could pinpoint that source or sources and target those individuals that and prosecute them, I think that would have a significant impact on the quantity of heroin coming into our community.
Jeff and his fellow officers work daily to remove drugs from our communities.
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