Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
DULUTH - Police say a heroin overdose was the most likely cause of death of a 60-year-old Duluth man over the weekend.
The department saw a spike of heroin–related incidents over the weekend after responding to four different incidents involving five individuals.
"This is kind of a state and nationwide issue that we're kind of experiencing right now," Lt. Stracek from the Duluth Police Department said. "Heroin seems to be on a comeback."
The recent rise in heroin use is being linked to the crackdown on prescription pills that are known to have the same effects.
"The addicts then went to another drug of choice which is heroin, which is easier to get a hold of," Stracek said.
Drug councilors have said that people who cannot get a hold of the pills they are used to feel forced to find something else.
"It's the withdrawal that's drawn people into it because it is so intense and people want to avoid it at any cost," Betsy Byler, outpatient and youth treatment manager at the Human Development Center in Superior, said.
However, both councilors and police agree that the use of heroin can be riskier and deadlier than pills that have controlled doses.
"That's a very different thing," Byler said. "You don't know how much heroin you need; you need it a whole bunch in the way of pills, but that doesn’t equate.”
"Unlike prescription drugs, when you buy a gram of heroin, you don't know what you're getting," Stracek said.
The uncertainty of the drug, and the recent spike in overdoses, are why police are hoping the community will come forward with suspicious information or help a friend or family member who may be in need.
"It's time to step up and take efforts if you know someone's in a crisis situation like that," Stracek said.
Police are still investigating the recent incidents and attempting to determine the source of the increase.
Anyone with more information, or who notices any suspicious activity, is asked to call their local police department.