SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) – A drug war has been declared across the Shoals after several deaths have been linked to heroin.
Drug task force agents in both Colbert and Lauderdale counties say the drug started showing up about a year ago.
Leaving the question to be answered, what has caused the sudden insurgence?
“About seven or eight months ago, consistently have seen more people coming and saying heroin was their drug of choice, or if I can find it I will use heroin,” explained Heath Haddock, program director at the Shoals Treatment Center in Sheffield.
As a privately owned care facility, Shoals Treatment Center sets up treatment programs for people who are addicted to opiates such a pain medications and heroin.
According to Haddock, the rise in heroin use seems to correlate with the crack-down by authorities on meth and pain pills on the local level.
Haddock said the people who used to get their high on those things are switching.
“They’re switching to heroin. And I think that is part of the problem and that’s where we are seeing a lot more heroin,” stated Haddock. “People who are using have been addicted to a substance in the past, they’re just switching over to heroin and that’s where they are getting themselves in a lot of trouble.”
Countless overdoses and at least four deaths across the Shoals can be linked back to heroin.
And Haddock said family members need to help their loved one’s before it’s too late.
“It boils down to educating yourself and knowing the resources that are available, and knowing the help that’s out there, because there is help out there.”
Below are a few links to resources provided by Heath Haddock as a way of helping the families who are affected by the abuse and addiction of heroin.
www.samhsa.gov - Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration
www.na.org – Narcotics Anonymous
www.aatod.org - The American Association of Treatment of Opioid Dependence
www.uwnwal.org - United Way of NW Alabama / 2-1-1 Local Referral Line for Community Resources