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Cary police chief working to crack down on heroin epidemic

Posted January 13

— Law enforcement agencies across the county and North Carolina are working to stop an opioid epidemic sweeping the country.

By the numbers, heroin drug use is rampant. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heroin overdose deaths have tripled in the United States since 2010.

In Cary, in just one week, three heroin overdoses were reported. Police Chief Tony Godwin said he is trying to stop the trend.

"There is an epidemic sweeping the country and Cary is no different," Godwin said. "We've certainly seen an increase in the number of opioid and heroin cases, and we have actually seen a number of deaths as a result of people using heroin."

Godwin said he and his investigators are trying to get to the source of the heroin, that is ultimately destroying families.

The Nelson family, of Fuquay-Varina, recently shared their grief after the death of a loved one.

"It is such a secret. That will be the number one thing they will hide from people closest to them," said Brett Nelson, who lost his brother to heroin.

Adding to the problem is a product called Fentanyl, a prescription drug that is mixed with street drugs like heroin.

The potent mix, Godwin said, can be deadly.

"We're looking at what we can do as a town, from the town manager all the way to the town council, to have an effect on that because they are our neighbors, they are our friends, they are our family members," Godwin said.

The Nelson family is now advocating for all law enforcement agencies to carry a drug called Narcan.

Narcan can resuscitate someone who has overdosed on heroin. It saved more than 300 lives last year in North Carolina.

According to Sheriff Donnie Harrison, there are currently 140 Wake County deputies who carry Narcan.


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  • Jim Frei Jan 14, 2017
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    Police will never be able to stop the drug supply. You have to stop the demand by figuring out why people feel the need to put a needle full of poison into their arm.

  • Jeff Beck Jan 14, 2017
    user avatar

    How stop using heroin instead....it's called accountability. You either have it or you die.