A Knoxville Police Department officer holds a needle seized during the arrest of a Chattanooga man May 1 at a convenience store. John Wilson, 46, drew the attention of people who saw him asleep in a car with a needle in his arm. He was charged with heroin
As pain pills become more expensive and difficult to find for illicit use, the Knoxville area is seeing a large influx of heroin pumped in from 500 miles away, authorities say.
“Our informants and sources are telling us it is coming out of the Detroit-based area brought via vehicles or bus lines or rental cars. It’s fairly cheap for a user to get their hands on,” said Lt. Chris Bryant with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit.
“The intensity of the high they’re getting off it is one of the reasons they’re using it and they don’t have to buy a large amount to get their fix. A tenth of a gram of heroin will suffice them.”
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control reports the number of heroin users nearly doubled from 373,000 people in 2007 to 620,000 in 2011, the most recent number available.
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