Feb 6, 2014 11:38 PM by Erin Steuber
The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is putting heroin in the headlines across the country. It turns out, at least in Lafayette, heroin is a growing problem. In 2013, just over 172 grams were recovered in Lafayette, the majority in the last six months of the year. But it's where we were before 2013, and where we are now, that might surprise you.
Before 2013 narcotics agents in Lafayette say they do not have any reported cases of heroin, and what a difference a few years makes. We're only about two months into 2014 and already 22 grams of heroin are off the streets in Lafayette Parish.
"So far what we're seeing is just a few individuals just randomly selling to whoever," said Captain John Babin with the Lafayette Metro Narcotics Task Force.
Babin says most of the users are between 18 and 25 years old.
"By the time you get to heroin you're pretty bad off. It's a very addictive drug. So if you're using heroine, you've been through everything else in most cases," said Babin.
"The more market there is for it, the more supply and demand. I could see it really causing problems for the community," said Addiction Counselor Chad Willis.
Willis says heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs on the market. Affecting the central nervous system, heroin slows down breathing, sometimes to fatal levels.
"Plus you never know what you're getting because you're buying it off the street. You're not getting it from a pharmacy, or a doctor. You never know what you're getting, so when they use they never know what they're using," said Willis.
"I think that we're just starting to see the beginning of heroin coming into our community," said Babin.
Police think heroin is making its way to Lafayette from port cities like Houston and New Orleans. Since 2013, metro narcotics has taken nearly $80,000 of heroin off the streets.