Three Heroin Deaths in 10 Days Have Police on Alert
FLORENCE, AL (WZDX) - In the last 10 days, three people have died from heroin overdoses in the Florence area.
"This is an unusual spike in any drug overdose," said Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler.
One victim is still fighting for his life after he overdosed on the drug. For authorities it has been alarming how fast the drug is killing people.
"It's a stronger batch that is coming in and people that are using it and aren't accustomed to the strength of it. Secondly, they are cutting it with something that has made this lethal cocktail," says Tyler.
Counselors at Bradford Health Services said that in the last year they have seen an increased number of heroin addicts.
"Since the schedule has changed for prescription medications, it's much more difficult to get the opiates. So, young people are moving more toward heroin," said Counselor Reginald Watkins.
The overdoses are having an impact on people 18 to 40-years-old. Investigators also say they're seeing three types of heroin in the area that look like a white, brown or gray powder. Police vow to find and prosecute the dealers that are selling the deadly heroin.
"We are going to concentrate some efforts in the Lauderdale County Drug Task Force and Florence Police Department in identifying the individuals that are responsible for bringing this substance in the Shoals area and selling. It we are absolutely coming after them," says Tyler.
Only one heroin arrest has been made from 2001 to 2013 in Florence. Since then, the drug has become more prevalent in the Shoals.
Florence Police encourage anyone suffering from a drug addiction to seek help. You can contact Bradford Health Services in Florence at 256-760-0200 for help.