Lexington Agencies Join Forces To Battle Heroin Abuse

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 7/12/2013 6:10 pm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

Police say a dangerous drug is back all over the country: Heroin. 

On Friday, Danville police made two heroin-related arrests.  Thursday night, Lexington Police arrested 8 people for heroin trafficking. 

Police are very concerned about heroin, and they're joining forces with a number of Lexington agencies to get heroin out of the city.

This isn't like the war on drugs you're used to hearing about where users get busted for possession.  The police want a community effort to get heroin users help.

The police pleaded with friends and family to save their loved ones.

"If they continue to use heroin without intervention they will die," said Lt. Scott Blakely, Lexington Police.

Police say heroin returned to the community, because of successes battling prescription drug abuse.

"An unintended consequence is the individuals who have been addicted to the prescription drugs and can no longer access those weren't cure off their addiction when that dried up. They're still looking for something to replace that," said Michelle McCarthy, a member of the Mayor's Alliance on Substance Abuse.

Police say they started seeing heroin again last year, and the drug is becoming more common. 

It's a little more than half-way through the year, and we've seen a 560% increase in heroin related deaths compared to all of 2011.

"It could be your grandmother, it could be your uncle, it could be your neighbor, it could be a healthcare professional," said Gary Ginn, Fayette County Coroner.

This year, about 75% of drug overdose deaths are from heroin.

Police have already made 160 heroin-related arrests this year.  That's 50 more than 2011 and 2012 combined. 

Since March, police have taken a quarter of a million dollars worth of heroin off the streets.

Police say the heroin people are using now is exponentially more pure than the heroin people used in the 60's and 70's.  So, it's much easier for heroin users to accidentally take a lethal dose. 

The mayor started a heroin task force for the city.

"Effective problem solving is all about overwhelming the problem with good talent and that means leadership, and that means pulling people together," said Mayor Jim Gray.

Gray says it will take a regional effort to get rid of dealers, and help addicts. 

If you need help, or know somebody who does the mayor's office passed out the following contact information:

Talk to a crisis counselor anytime call 1-800-928-8000

Online resources: www.drugfreelex.com
                        www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov

For daytime shelter and access to addition services contact:

New Life Day Center-224 N. MLK BLVD-(859) 252-3012
The Salvation Army-736 W. Main St-(859) 252-7706

For emergency housing and food assistance contact:

The Hope Center-360 W. Loudon Ave (859) 252-7881

Central KY Housing & Homeless Initiative- 130 W. New Circle Rd, Suite #110
(859) 227-5422


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