DEA aims to alert Louisville to heroin crisis with new commercial
The DEA is taking a three-pronged approach to the drug crisis in Louisville.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Drug Enforcement Administration is trying to wake up Louisville to the heroin crisis with a new commercial airing across the city.
It’s part of a "360" approach to combat a drug that isn't close to backing down.
The commercial starts and ends with parents and friends noticing changes in their loved ones. A few startling statistics appear throughout as well:
- 268 drug-related deaths occurred in Jefferson County last year alone
- There was a 65 percent increase in overdoses in Louisville in just six months
- One in five high school seniors know how to get heroin easily
Jim Scott, the Resident Agent in Charge for the Louisville District Office of the DEA, says heroin is cheaper than ever before, and there’s a whole lot more of it.
“In Jefferson County alone in 2016, we'll have lost one person every day,” Scott said.
And heroin is often being mixed with even more lethal substances.
"You get the wrong mixture, and you're gone,” Scott said.
Hence the administration’s "360" strategy.
“The DEA realizes we're not going to be able to enforce our way out of this problem," Scott said. "We can't prosecute our way out of this problem. We've got to team together with everyone in the community and try to attack this with everyone on the same page."
The three-pronged approach includes law enforcement, the medical community and community outreach.
Part of that solution will come from The Healing Place.
“It's a really hard addiction to hide because you don't just use heroin once a day," said Drug and Alcohol Counselor Pat Fogarty. "It’s every few hours, especially when you’re dependent on it."
He says in addition to heroin, he's seeing a lot of high grade, cheap and synthetic opioids.
“U-47700 is seven times stronger than morphine,” Fogarty said.
The problem with it, he says, is that the drug can easily be purchased online.
About three months ago, the DEA made the drug illegal after numerous overdose deaths across the country.
“What we’ve learned is there’s always going to be something there," Fogarty said. "And the reality is because there’s addiction. So we need to fight addiction as whole as opposed to one singular drug."
To see the full commercial from the DEA and be linked to addiction resources click here.
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