Heroin. A growing problem in the Upper Peninsula?

HOUGHTON — It’s a growing problem in Houghton… Heroin. ABC 10 / CW 5 talked with the city’s Chief of Police about what can be done about it.

Heroin use is on the rise in Houghton and the surrounding areas as both the supply and the demand continue to increase. Addicts who have had a history of abusing prescription pills are turning to heroin because access to their former drug of choice has been reduced.

Houghton Police Chief John Donnelly said, “We’ve had a long history of abuse of prescription medication up here. I think the doctors are combating that in issuing out less and it’s becoming less available. We’ve found, as of late, that heroin is cheaper to get on the streets than the morphine and the OxyContin’s that have been dominating the drug role up here in this area.”
With more customers willing to buy…drug dealers from outside the area have started to take notice.

Donnelly said, “The Houghton area has been fortunate in the past. Geographically, we’re not located near any major cities so it’s kind of hard to get narcotics up to this area. The drug dealers that were peddling the narcotics are actually switching people over to the heroin.”

The Houghton Police Department is working with UPSET and other law enforcement agencies to come up with a solution to the growing heroin problem.

Donnelly said, “We are trying to organize at the local level. We’re trying to coordinate with the state with efforts from UPSET. We’re looking for ways to get it where we can have dedicated officers to combating the narcotic use in this area.”

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