La Crosse law enforcement has been talking about the
growing heroin problem in our community.
the country's top law enforcement officer says the
problem is growing on a national scale.
News 8's Mark McPherson joins us live in our newsroom
Attorney General Eric Holder called the heroin problem
a growing public health crisis.
But to solve it.
the focus can't just be on heroin.
That's because the gateway to a heroin addiction.
might be sitting in your medicine cabinet.
H14 - Right now fewer
drugs are more lethal than prescription
opiates and heroin.
attorney general says the heroin problem in the U.S.
is only getting worse.
H50 - It's clear that opiate addiction is an urgent
and growing public health crisis.
But while heroin addiction grabs the headlines.
it's often the result of a much more common drug.
that could already be in your home.
H156 - The cycle of heroin abuse commonly begins with
prescription opiate abuse.
MD - People don't start off as heroin addicts.
co-chair of the La Crosse heroin task force.
says in most cases.
the real severe addiction starts with prescription
MD - That's where a lot of them are getting addicted,
and the only reason they're going to it is it's cheaper.
H - Confronting this crisis will require a combination
of enforcement as well as treatment.
Both Holder and Desmond agree, solving the problem
will take not only law enforcement, but counselors
Holder is prepared to bring the strength of federal
law enforcement to take on drug supply.
but Desmond says the other half of the battle, is
getting to kids before they get hooked.
MD - A lot of it has to do with prevention and trying
to do things educationally for young kids, especially
kids who are hurting.
MD - And that is helping kids, young people that have
issues of depression, anxiety and so forth and are
using drugs to self medicate.I
In La Crosse, MM, N8
One recommendation the heroin task force will likely
make to the city is to install permanent drug drop
off boxes at police stations
Desmond says there are just
far too many unused prescription
drugs laying around that kids.
and addicts can get their hands on.
?why is the addiction to opiates like heroin so dangerous?
They create a chemical change in your body and brain.
You can't just wake up and say.
I'm going to quit.
your body is relying on that opiate.
and the side effects are too difficult to handle.
Attorney general Holder points out that overdose deaths
in the u-s jumped 45-percent from 2006 to 2010.