Officials say there could be a new drug of choice

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - After recent legislation went into effect in July, officials said they have seen a decrease in meth labs. They said there could be another drug in the future.

Officials said state legislation, such as House Bill 1, also known as the “pill mill bill,” along with the methamphetamine bill, could be tied to those results.

They said the methamphetamine bill limited the amount of pseudo ephedrine that could be purchased. Smoot said the "pill mill bill" made it more difficult for people to obtain narcotic pills.

Operation UNITE officials said though they are seeing results, it is always something.

“For meth labs we are down by 13 percent statewide in the past year,” said Dan Smoot of Operation UNITE.
“As we slow down meth labs, and as we slow down pills, here comes heroin, if we slow down heroin, here is going to come another drug of choice.”

Smoot said they believe there could be a new "trendy" drug.

“For the first time we are starting to see and we are starting to purchase heroin in this region,” said Smoot, when he referred to undercover buys made by UNITE officials.

Laurel County Sheriff's Deputies said they have seen it pop up but they will not stand for it in their territory.

“The heroin that we have seen here has come in from elsewhere,” said Deputy Gilbert Acciardo.
“We will deal with it just as seriously and just as strictly as we have any of the other illegal drugs we have worked on.”

Experts said with heroin, different circumstances came into play.

“We know where pills are coming from,” said Smoot.
“They are coming from pharmacies and doctors, it's a little different with heroin and cocaine.”

Smoot said the origin of such drugs is outside of the U.S. border. He said once they make it inside, it becomes more difficult to track.

“Obviously these are coming through Mexico into the United States and from there it just goes in every conceivable direction," said Smoot.

Smoot said most of the black tar heroin they had seen had come out of Michigan or Ohio.

He said Operation UNITE had federal partners which allowed them to work with other law enforcement agencies to track and stop the traveling of the drug.

Smoot said the best defense against the drug problem is education and treatment.

We talked with several law enforcement agencies who said they have not yet seen heroin in their areas. Most said they have been advised it will be coming around and said they will be prepared.

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