Authorities worry heroin is more popular
GONZALES - New ways to manufacture heroin has made it more appealing, authorities worry.
Unlike black tar heroin seen decades ago that could only be shot up with a needle, brown heroin gives addicts a choice. They can snort it, smoke it or shoot it.
"We've started seeing heroin in the parish and for years and years, we hadn't seen any," Ascension Parish Sheriff Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said. "We have people addicted to prescription pills, oxycontins, strong narcotics and as those pills become harder and harder to obtain, they're turning to heroin as a substitute."
Brown heroin is sold in a gram for a little less than $100. One gram is about half a sugar pack, and addicts can get several hits from it.
Ascension deputies have made 21 heroin arrests so far in 2013 compared to only one in 2012.
"Heroin is a significant priority for this department," Bacala said. "I think it's not only becoming an Ascension Parish issue but a regional issue and probably a nationwide issue, the reemergence of heroin."