The illegal use of drugs affects everyone in our community. Recognizing these drugs and learning about the threats they pose can help reduce drug related crime.
The Drug Unit continues to see an increase in heroin activity in Washington County. Heroin is typically found here in very small amounts; a typical dose can weigh as little as .05 gram. The Drug Unit has been able to buy heroin in Washington County, sold by local residents. It appears that heroin has become more available and use has increased. This increase is likely linked to the increased abuse of oxycodone and other narcotic pharmaceuticals in the area.
As the number of oxycodone addicts rises, generally the number of heroin addicts rises as well. Opiates are present in many residents who enter publicly funded drug treatment. The gap between those admitting cocaine use and heroin use is closing. Heroin arrests for distribution and seizures of heroin began by our Drug Unit in 2007 have increased each year. There has been an increase in the number of reported heroin overdoses and deaths in the county.
Heroin has been shown to be a direct link to violence and crime in our area. Burglaries and robberies are frequently tied to suspects with drug additions, including an armed robbery of a service station and the robberies of two banks in the county in past years.
All of the heroin seized by the task force in 2009 was white powder form and was obtained through drug networks operating in Milwaukee or Chicago.