JACKSBORO, TN. (WLAF) – Addicts spend their lives chasing a high.
And that high, sometimes changes.
At one time, addicts chased the high of cocaine. In recent memory, that high became methamphetamine.
In the early 2000s, local law enforcement spent its days chasing meth cooks determined to use an empty soda bottle to cook up their next hit.
Now those days are over as the addicts have moved on to their next drug of choice- Heroin.
“We have not had a meth lab in three years,” said Campbell County Sheriff’s Capt. John Long.
After the home brewed methamphetamine that was popular at one time, Campbell County saw a crystalized form of methamphetamine introduced to the area. This particular drug was an import courtesy of the cartels in Mexico and Southeast Asia.
“On the heels of that epidemic came the pain pill habit many addicts moved onto,” Long said. But with increased legislation and law enforcement cracking down on pain clinics, the profit margin of opioids was driven down for dealers making it cost prohibitive to deal in prescription pills.
However, a new drug was poised to take the opioid’s place. Fentanyl laced Heroin is now the drug of choice for many users.
The frightening fascination with this drug is the near death experience addicts are looking for with it.
“The Fentanyl lace Heroin is acting as a super Heroin,” Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins said. “People wanting to buy this drug are searching for the dealer that carries Narcan (an anti-overdose drug), because that is an indication of the potency of their product.”
Goins said he didn’t want to scare the community with this information but believes they have a right to know because only in knowing can they help identify potential narcotic activity.
“Heroin is sold on a point system. One dose is one point,” Long said.
Using the end of a straighten paper clip, Long said that would amount to one point of the Heroin. Fentanyl, an even more concentrated drug, is added to the point. One dose of Fentanyl is equal to a grain of sand. When the two are mixed together the result is the super Heroin.
Currently, the bulk of Heroin is produced overseas and is imported into the United States. And because of its potency, it’s a moneymaker for dealers.
A sandwich bag of Fentanyl can have around 45,000 doses in it, according to Long.
Heroin has been on the county’s radar for about two years, Goins said. But the new super Heroin is a recent development.
In criminal court last week, 12 guilty pleas were entered. Of the 12, two pleaded guilty to possessing Heroin; both were female.
Ashley Powers also pleaded to a child neglect charge along with her narcotics charge. She was sentenced to 99 days in jail, 10 years probation and court costs and fines totaling $4,500.
Jasmine McClain pleaded guilty to simple possession of Heroin. She was given 30 days in jail, four years probation with court costs and fines totaling around $3,000.
While these two cases are anecdotal, they are also examples that Heroin has found its way to Campbell County.
Recently, the CCSO conducted a raid that netted $80,000 in cash and a cache of heroin. “It is the days like that, the ones where we have actively stopped future drug trafficking, that’s what motivates us,” Goins said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 05/03/2021- 6AM)