Heroin Use on Rise in Minneapolis

Updated: 04/16/2014 6:50 PM
Created: 04/16/2014 4:59 PM
By: Josh Rosenthal

Since the beginning of the year, the Minneapolis Police Department's Property and Evidence Unit has collected more than 120 bags of heroin. The drug is something Sgt. Brian Anderson sees a lot of these days.

"It would probably be very shocking for a lot of the people, what goes on," Anderson said.

The number of heroin incidents in Minneapolis has skyrocketed, more than doubling between 2011 and 2012.

"There's a huge, better profit margin when it comes to dealing heroin than there is cocaine. Huge difference," Anderson explained. "So we're seeing a lot of these old crack cocaine dealers, cocaine dealers switching over to heroin because they're making a lot more money."

Carol Falkowski, who writes a report on drug trends in the Twin Cities twice a year, gives two other reasons for heroin's recent rise. The first is we've never seen so much of the drug coming in from Mexico before. The second, she says, is people abuse prescription pain killers and then turn to heroin because it's cheaper.

As she put it, "we see heroin as so widely available now that it doesn't matter where you live - in the state or in the metro area - heroin is accessible."

According to Anderson, it's highly addictive too, even by hard drug standards.

"I've talked to a lot of addicts," he said, "and it's usually one. One time - boom - they're hooked."

A stronger pull than crack cocaine even?

"Correct," he responded, "That’s what I've seen."

Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

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