BG Police deal with growing heroin problem

BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) - Heroinis becoming a growing problem in Bowling Green, and police are working to stopit before it claims any more lives.

"It'sa problem that reaches all different facets of the community," said Major TonyHetrick of the Bowling Green Police.

Policesay in the past few years, the number of people using heroin has skyrocketed. InBowling Green, they say they are seeing more China white heroin than everbefore.

"WhenI started my career here 17 years ago, it was very rare that we would getheroin," Hetrick said. "We'd heard about it, you'd see it once in awhile, butnow it's becoming we see quite frequently, couple of times a week sometimes."

Addictscan be found all over the city.

"We'rehaving overdoses in apartments and homes," said Hetrick.

Onesuch overdose happened in the bathroom of a Burger King. But police say this isnot a city problem, but a regional one. They say more often than not, the drugsare coming from Toledo.

"Peopledrive up there to get it and they use it on the way back," Hetrick said.

Accordingto the Lucas County Coroner, 113 people have died from heroin-related deathsbetween 2010 and February of 2013.

Policesay there could be a much higher death rate if it wasn't for a medicine thatbrings patients back from the brink.

Nowpolice say addicts are onto a new scheme: stealing from big-box stores.

"Walmart,Home Depot, they bring those back, they get gift cards, they trade them forheroin," Hetrick explained. "We're finding a heroin connection in almost all ofthese theft rings."

It'sa ring of theft and abuse that police say seems to have no end in sight.

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