Heroin Hurting Stateline

By: Meghan Dwyer Email
By: Meghan Dwyer Email

MACHESNEY PARK (WIFR) -- Tammy Perry's husband died six years ago from a heroin overdose. He was 36. He left behind four sons...The youngest is now 12.

"In the end it eventually took his life he just could not break free," Perry says. "We pretty much lost everything. It doesn't go away. Without treatment it just doesn't go away."

According to the Winnebago County Coroner's office 19 people overdosed on heroin this year alone. The drug has taken the lives of about 70 people in the last three years.

"Usually you see an uptick in drug use, especially hard drug use, when the economy is bad," says former addiction counselor and Weed & Seed Coordinator Dana Hoefle. "And the economy has been bad for awhile."

Over the last six years heroin use has dramatically spiked in the Stateline. Instead of getting better more people are using.

"It's so cheap and it's so readily available. It's something that's virtually accessible to anyone and it's everywhere," Hoefle says. It only costs $10 a bag. "You're gonna choose whatever kills the pain the best and whatever's the cheapest and that's been heroin."

It's not just Rockford. Police in Janesville, Wisconsin, say this year they have confiscated 40 percent more heroin than normal. That's about 60 grams. But unlike other drugs like meth, heroin users are more likely to kick the habit.

"It's never too late. It's never too late to get help," Perry says. "It has to happen. We have to pay more attention to this issue. It's destroying families," Hoefle says.

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  • by Nancy Barmashi Location: CT on Dec 2, 2011 at 07:15 AM
    Do you or someone you know need help with heroin or painkiller addiction? This life-threatening medical condition can now be treated in the privacy of a certified physician's office with prescription medication called buprenorphine (Suboxone/Subutex). Bupe is abuse resistant and has a ceiling to its effects making accidental fatal overdoses unlikely. It also blocks other opioids for days, and is not euphoric to people tolerant to opioids. It has enough opioid effect to stop cravings and withdrawal allowing the patient and their family to make the necessary changes that will translate to sustained addiction remission. TreatmentMatch.org is a free service from the non-profit organization naabt.org and is a confidential way to find doctors certified to treat opioid addiction in their office. Learn more about buprenorphine at naabt.org
  • by rocky Location: rockford on Dec 2, 2011 at 07:08 AM
    of all the people busted and drugs confiscated in yesterdays news, there was no heroin mentioned....sounds kind of strange.....
  • by Donna Location: Rockford on Dec 2, 2011 at 05:34 AM
    As a Mother of a son who was addicted to Heroin and was arrested for DUI/Drugs, he was clean when sentenced to Dixon Correctional Center, where he became addicted again and subsequently died of an overdose of Methadone. He told me drugs were easier to find and cheaper in Prison than on the street. I urge parents to be aware of the nodding off, the Heroin Itch,etc. Try to save your chid!
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