PENDLETON:  Heroin use rises

PENDLETON: Heroin use rises

Police Chief Stuart Roberts says that methamphetamine is still the region’s number one drug problem, but that doesn’t mean heroin isn’t a concern.

“Has the availability of heroin or opioid-based products had an impact,” Roberts questioned. “Absolutely.”

The spotlight is on heroin addiction as the national scandal regarding opioid prescriptions continues to grow. Roberts believes cutting heroin with deadly fentanyl has also brought more attention to the narcotic.

“Whether it’s airborne, touched, or otherwise, it can have significant physiological effects on innocent persons who don’t readily recognize what it is and handle it in some way, shape or form,” Roberts said.

The police chief also said the attention is focused on opioid-based addictions because its victims stem from all walks of life.

“At the end of the day, not only are they left destitute financially, but they’ve walked away from their families and are suffering from significant addiction or some other illness, or in some cases death,” he said.