Heroin Cases Double Across Middle Tennessee - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Heroin Cases Double Across Middle Tennessee

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by Todd Walker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An old drug is on the rise again across Middle Tennessee. Heroin cases in the area are skyrocketing, doubling from 2011 to 2012, according to data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

In 2011, law enforcement investigated 121 heroin cases -- that number jumped to 241 in 2012.

Michael Stanfill is in charge of the Tennessee offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration. He said more people are turning to heroin because of the pill abuse epidemic. Those who can't afford to buy prescription pills on the street are turning to heroin, which is much cheaper.

"If you're getting a 30 milligram oxycodone pill you're paying $30 for it," he said. "You can go and pay anywhere from $10 to $15 for a gram of heroin. So it's a lot cheaper."

Stanfill said a lot of the new users are high school and college aged. The DEA said heroin comes in a purer form now, so it doesn't necessarily have to be injected.

"It's become to some people more acceptable because they can smoke it or snort it," Stanfill said.

On August 8, Metro Police arrested 10 people and seized 38 grams of heroin and thousands in cash.

The men are believed to have ties to Mexico where the majority of heroin in this country comes from.

email: twalker@newschannel5.com

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