"You see the people coming to La Crosse because they don't fear the consequences here. They know if they get caught, they're not going to prison. That's what my informants tell me. That's why they're flooding our area," said Kloss.

"The big people in the cities are sending their people to get rid of more product because I mean, if it's happening in their town, and they're getting punished for it, then why keep it there? Why not send it somewhere where they're not?" said the informant.

"It's all reward and no risk. And when you have that, that's a bad, bad thing. And it's a recipe for disaster," said Kloss.

That may be the word on the street, but is it true?

Is La Crosse more lenient when it comes to sentencing dealers?

"I doubt it. I doubt it very much," said La Crosse County Drug Court Judge Dale Pasell.

"I think I can say that generally, without talking about specific cases, that when we see people who are truly dealers, that we treat them appropriately in terms of recognizing that they have to be treated more harshly. That this is a very serious offense," said Hon. Pasell.

Assistant District Attorney Jessica Skemp said there's really no way to compare how harshly La Crosse sentences dealers to how it's done anywhere else.

"It's hard to generalize. Sentences are very fact-based, or plea agreements are very fact-based,” said Skemp. “Sometimes we might get it wrong, system-wide. But I think that we do the best that we can with the tools that we have."

But she said, by the time a dealer ends up in a courtroom, there's already a problem.

"It's a supply and demand issue, I think, you know, when you come to the base level of it. And we need to really work on the demand part," said Kloss.

Skemp said the answer might not be more focus from law enforcement, but from the community.

"The ideal situation is where the community would come together and put more efforts toward prevention and treatment for people who are addicts, because that's where the business is. That's where dealers are making money, it's the people who are addicted," said Skemp.

While La Crosse figures out how to solve the demand issue, city police officers like Kloss are staying focused on the suppliers.

"I think as far as our resources go and what we have at the police department here, we're doing everything we can. I can honestly say that as a supervisor of this unit. We do everything humanly possible to get these guys off the street. It's a 24/7 battle. And it's relentless," said Kloss.

Another reason heroin is so dangerous is because users run a very high risk of addiction. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, nearly one in four users will get hooked.

A common misconception is that heroin is just injected, but it can also be snorted or smoked.

So if you’re worried a friend or family member might be doing heroin, looking for signs of needle use won't do you much good. You're better off looking for flushed skin, severely slowed breathing and signs of drowsiness. Also look for changes in behavior, like becoming more secretive and pulling away from family and friends.