Reports: heroin usage on the rise, increasingly deadly

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say usage of heroin and other drugs have reached “epidemic” levels. In a briefing published in July, researchers found that heroin use more than doubled in adults ages 18 to 25 in the past deacde. Those findings coincide with trends that Keizer Police Det. Chris Nelson saw in a recent stint as part of a Drug Enforcement Agency task force looking into the problem regionally. “In the last five to six years, the heroin market has increased in this region. More traffickers are coming in and setting up shop,” said Nelson. “We deterimined that the heroin is coming from Nayarit, Mexico. They grow and manufacture and bring it into the U.S. Mexican trafficking groups establish cells in the different areas and distribute to mid-level dealers. Those mid-level dealers are well-established in this area.” Nelson said the local dealers the Keizer Police Department arrests for selling heroin and other illicit drugs are most often addicts themselves. “They’re selling to support their own habits,” Nelson said. “For anyone who is mid-level or higher up the chain, selling is usually just a business model, a way to make money.” How it works Heroin is synthesized from morphine, which is extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant, and often appears as a white or brown...

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