Sheriff sees heroin increase in Franklin Co., hopes 2016 is the year it stops

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Some call Kentucky’s heroin problem an epidemic and in Franklin County the sheriff says it’s getting worse.

Sheriff Pat Melton says he’s never seen anything come into the county with an overdose rate as high as heroin.

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He says ten people died from heroin overdose in 2014. Numbers for 2015 aren’t available yet but Melton says he wouldn’t be surprised if it doubled.

The past year, his office worked 27 cases involving heroin trafficking or importing heroin and 17 cases of heroin possession.

It seized 80 grams of the drug with a street value estimated around $32,000.

Melton hopes those numbers change in 2016.

“I don’t think it’s something we can arrest our way out of,” said Melton. “I think it’s something that if you’re trafficking heroin or you’re selling it, you need to go to jail, you need to go to prison, you need to spend time. If you’re an addict, which is a total different thing, then we need to get you some help.”

Sheriff Melton says it’s going to take a team effort from law enforcement, the legislature and healthcare workers to fix the heroin problem.