Program targets heroin abuse
It a part of his job that Charlotte Mecklenburg police Lt. In 2010, King and others in the department knocked on five doors countywide. In 2011, they knocked on 14. By 2012, they were talking with 18 grieving families of fatal overdose victims. In all, 114 people were treated for drug overdoses during those three years and 37 of those people died. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, South Division responded to 10 heroin related overdoses, although that department Capt. Jim Wilson said the data does not differentiate between fatal and nonfatal overdoses. frustrating seeing someone die when there could be a better way, said King. In June, King helped launch a pilot program in the South Division to target heroin use. The program recently expanded to include the entire county. not just targeting offenders and trying to arrest them, said Wilson. working with hospitals, treatment centers, drug prevention programs, schools. We know we can arrest our way out of this problem. the years, King said, heroin use has changed, for the worse. 2012, there was a record high for fatal and nonfatal overdoses from heroin in Charlotte. They may have broken a leg during football practice or suffered an injury in a car accident, he said. Doctors will often prescribe painkillers for such injuries. By the time the prescription ends, the teenager has become addicted without realizing it, he said. don grasp that it a pill version of heroin, said King. needle may be scary but a drug is a drug. said teenagers will trade pills with friends at school or steal from their parent medicine cabinet. King said the street pricing rule in Charlotte is that pills are three times more expensive than black tar heroin. He added that users get 10 times more product with heroin versus pills. Monica Johnson, coordinator for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Drug Free Coalition, said police have told her organization that hydrocodone pills may sell for $7 to $10 per pill. Often people will smoke black tar heroin. they go to IV, they don come back, said King. is not something an addict can beat by themselves. The statistics are outrageous as far as failure rate of getting off of heroin. This October marked the anniversary of his death from a heroin overdose. did not fit the image of heroin user, she said. grades were high, he was extremely brilliant, he was an Eagle Scout, he was extremely athletic. He was just a very well liked, outgoing, good kid. Alex was 17, he told Uhler that he hadn been able to go to the bathroom for two days. But in July 2012, his roommates found him unresponsive. A narcan injection, which counteracts the effects of heroin, revived him. 19, after she hadn heard from her son, she visited his Myers Park apartment and found him dead in bed. He was 21. need to understand that it a silent epidemic, she said. one wants to talk about it because they ashamed or feel like they a bad parent but that not the case. The kids now that are overdosing are your honor students, your football players, your cheerleaders. They also learning to recognize signs of a heroin overdose, such as blue lips, trouble breathing and lethargy. suffocate inside your own body, said King. breathing gets shallower and shallower until you not breathing at all. are also learning the benefits of narcan injections, which can save lives if used early enough, said King. Officials a michael kors bag lso want to educate the public about the Good Samaritan Law that the General Assembly passed in April. The law says that if someone overdoses and a witness calls 911, the two are exempt from being charged with any drug related crime so long as they have less than one gram of heroin. lot of times, people will leave them to die because they don want to be charged and they looking out for themselves, said King. this takes that fear away so that they be more willing to call for help. enforcement is also working with teachers, coaches and nurses to recognize the signs of heroin use. They asking heroin addicts what kind of message in school might have prevented them from using drugs. schoolers don understand that they can try this one or two or three times and be addicted to michael kors bag it for the rest of their life, said King. now they treating it like a toy and they don realize it will own their life. Many were seasoned thieves; several had been arrested more than 100 times and charged with burglary. Of those surveyed, 65 percent said they would use the goods or money they stole during a burglary to buy michael kors bag drugs usually crack, cocaine or heroin. But anecdotally, he said, a higher proportion of those arrested for larceny are saying they did it to support their drug addiction. not driving all our crime but it a driver for property crime, said Wilson. people who are doing drugs have to get money for their habit. They going to shoplift, break into cars, break into houses to get what they need.
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