Heroin Use on the Rise in Eastern Iowa

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Brown, black and white heroin are all types of an addictive drug that police say is making its way into Eastern Iowa. Over the past couple years, at least 25 people in Linn and Johnson Counties have died from heroin overdoses.

The Dubuque Drug Task force says an average of two or three people in Dubuque overdose on Heroin each month. The drug has killed three people in Dubuque County in the past two years.

The Dubuque Task Force isn't releasing the exact number, but say they've already performed the same number of undercover buys so far this year as they did in all of 2011. "We have treatment options here in Dubuque but for something like Heroin, just like any other hard core drugs," said task force member Gary Pape. "I think some better options are the long term treatment."

While crack and meth continue to be some of the most popular hard drugs, Pape says if the trend continues, Heroin will soon join the ranks at the top.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says heroin is being brought into the area from Chicago. Law enforcement is making headway, both locally and nationally.

Eight men are serving jail time after pleading guilty earlier this year to their involvement in a Cedar Rapids heroin ring. And last month, a jury convicted one of the world's largest heroin traffickers who also had ties to the Taliban.
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