HELENA – According to the Missouri River Drug Task Force (MRDTF) they has seen a significant increase in heroin use in the Helena area.
Detective Sgt. Danny David gave a presentation on Wednesday Sep. 12 at the Helena Chamber of Commerce to inform community members about the rise in drug use they have seen.
David stressed that this not only a rising Helena problem but a serious statewide issue.
MRDTF say that with the crack down on over the counter amphetamine and opiate sales many addicts are turning to heroin with most illegal drugs now coming into Montana from Mexican Cartels.
“Pain pills, opiates, hydrocodones, vicodins and things like that are the start of this problem for a lot of people and if people can’t get their opiate pain killer drug then they will move on to the heroine,” said David.
David added that heavy drug use is involved for the majority of theft and breaks in the Helena community experiences.
In 2017 there were 28 known heroin or prescription pill overdoses and 3 deaths in the Helena area.
David also said that they are seeing the age drug dealers get younger and warns that drug dealers are regularly recruiting high school-aged kids.
According to MRDTF, they have also seen a drastic increase in “dabs” usage in high schools aged children across the state.
Dabs are a concentrated form of marijuana made by an extraction method that uses butane gas and are usually consumed via vaporization in a device similar to an e-cigarette.
To help curb drug abuse David believe there needs to be more education and awareness in the community.
“I think more education in the schools would be helpful,” said David, “Drug use starts usually when people are younger and the get hooked on the drug and it just continues on and on.”
MRDTF is comprised of seven counties which include Lewis & Clark County, Broadwater County, Gallatin County, Park County, Sweetgrass County, Madison County and Meagher County.
David said that more officers and detective would certainly help but right now isn’t an option.
“It would be nice to have more resources, I think that goes for everybody that does the job I do,” said David,”We just do the best with the people we have and the resources that are available.”