UNITE Officials Are Seeing A New Drug Appear

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

They've made their mark in the fight against meth and OxyContin, but now Operation UNITE officers say Heroin is the new battleground in the mountains.

This year's National Drug Threat Assessment by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration shows the heroin that's readily available in big cities, is hooking more people in rural areas.

In eastern Kentucky, UNITE officials say it's the latest trend.

“In recent months we've bought heroin for the first time since UNITE's been in operation. Basically, all three of the task forces have bought small amounts of heroin,” Dan Smoot said.

Two dozen people are suspects in a heroin ring that police say stretches from West Virginia and Ohio to Mexico and is believed to be connected to 10 deaths. UNITE officers say they've made buys from young adults and older users.

“So I think it's just a matter of time until heroin is a drug of choice in the region,” Smoot said.

Smoot says the number of overdoses usually shoots up anytime drug users start 'shooting up' a new drug of choice, and that's put officers and treatment teams on high alert.

“If their bodies aren't accustomed to that particular drug, then they're not going to know their cutoff point,” Mike Williams, Westcare Kentucky Clinical Director said.

UNITE officers say users don't always know what they're getting, because like cocaine, heroin is usually shipped from other countries and could be laced with something else.

Federal officials say a drop in heroin eradication in Mexico means much more heroin could be headed our way.

UNITE officers say the price of heroin in the mountains is higher than usual because it's relatively new to the region, but they expect the price to drop if the supply increases.


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  • by William Location: seky on Aug 12, 2008 at 04:49 PM
    when the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people,there is liberty,UNITE has scared and set terror in this region, and now every citizen that lives in south east Ky and eastern Ky has come under scrutiny , Is the Government creating these medical policing origination's policed medicine there is a good saying. whats next policed Food? censorship clothing and hair cuts? take away the freedom of speech is this still America? the people needs to check and see.
  • by donny Location: ky on Aug 12, 2008 at 12:57 PM
    if the judge would give them big time in jail it would slow it down. cops put them in judge turns them lose. cant win a drug war like that..10 years in prison might learn them a thing or two.
  • by united Location: we stand on Aug 12, 2008 at 05:15 AM
    Wonder how much of the new drug is brought in by the UNITE Officials. Trying really hard to keep your jobs. Not enough that you DON'T bust the big dealers for fear you won't have anything to do!
  • by Judy R. Location: Pikeville on Aug 12, 2008 at 04:58 AM
    WoW another reason to hire more cops, more social workers,build more jails,more judges,build more drug rehab places.The War On Drugs,an industry on the backs of the poor.Pikeville used to be a wonderfull town,now its an armed camp.Full of low IQ pistol packing Democrats.Parasites living off the suffering of others.
  • by Skolek Location: SC on Aug 12, 2008 at 04:45 AM
    Purdue Pharma and OxyContin Why don't government agencies put their energies into finding out how Purdue Pharma and their 3 criminally convicted CEO's Michael Friedman, Howard Udell and Paul Goldenheim managed to deceive physicians and patients about the addictive and abusive qualities of OxyContin which has resulted in a national epidemic of addiction and death in every state in the country? Charges to which they pled guilty and were sentenced. It's not enough that these 3 individuals and Purdue Pharma are known to their families, friends, profession and community as convicted felons and that there is a special place in hell for them. Why hasn't the FDA been held accountable as to how they let this devastation happen of OxyContin addiction and death in every state in the country? Our elected officials should be protecting the American people against the likes of Purdue Pharma and the dealings they had with the FDA to allow this criminal activity. Marianne Skolek, Activist for Victims
  • by jasper Location: Hazard on Aug 12, 2008 at 04:42 AM
    It sure would be nice if UNITE would use all that grant $$ and investigate the tips that are called in to them, I personally have reported at least 10 people in the last 3 years yet they continue to deal uninterrupted.Why?
  • by Brenda Location: Hazard on Aug 12, 2008 at 02:09 AM
    Mr.Smoot,if my drug dealing neighbors start selling Heroin,then will you see fit to investigate them since evidently selling pot and pills aren't getting your attention...if they are being investigated already then why have they been doing this for over 3 years now,no investigation takes that long....
  • by Berthabetterthanyou Location: Neon on Aug 11, 2008 at 07:02 PM
    well at least the big pharmacies and pharmaceuticals are not profiting from this type of drug use and Medicaid doesn't pay for Heroin, so it seems a little better in the badlands.

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