LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- An age-old drug in a fairly new consumption form is grabbing the attention of law enforcement.
Little Rock police are on high alert after learning about a new form of heroin making its way to the Natural State.
“If it starts in Mexico it may take a while to reach Arkansas, depending on supply and demand so there’s really no telling.”
Officer Mark Ison with the Little Rock Police Department patrols the Southwest Division routinely, looking for anything ranging between traffic violations to drugs.
Officer Ison says while heroin is not new to Little Rock, police are seeing heroin in the pill version for the first time and law enforcement is expecting to see an increase.
“The case that was here that we know about was half Fentanyl which is a strong pain medication they typically give to cancer patients, the other half was heroin. It’s highly addictive and probably easy to overdose on.”
Statistics collected over the past 14 months show 59 out of 187 overdoses in Little Rock were a result of heroin, nearly 32 percent of all overdoses. Police are encouraging parents to educate their children about the dangers of the drug.
“I would not be that naïve to think that it’s not going to show up in your neighborhood or your kid’s schools because it probably will.”
It is important to know that the drug can be deadly and it does not discriminate. Heroin usage crosses all racial, cultural and economic barriers. “It’s just like any other drug. It could be 8 to 80, there’s no telling. If somebody’s got a drug habit and they can get their hands on it, they may use it. And as addictive as heroin is, they probably won’t ever get off of it,” said Ison.
Last week, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola had this to say, in part:
"…These conversations today are a great starting point as we begin to tackle the difficult realities that stem from Opioid abuse in our communities."
Stodola serves as the co-chair of the national City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic. He joined other local leaders to take action in response to the escalation and deadly impact of heroin use.