Officials launch new initiative to combat heroin use - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officials launch new initiative to combat heroin use

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Law enforcement, government officials look to combat drug overdoses. (WFSB) Law enforcement, government officials look to combat drug overdoses. (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

Heroin is a dangerous drug, and with overdoses on the rise, the U.S. Attorney is teaming up with local and federal law enforcement agencies take on a new initiative.

Drug agents said most of the heroin that comes into the state is smuggled in from Colombia and Mexico.

The new protocol to track down the local dealers is that when police are called to an overdose they will collect evidence as if it’s a crime scene.

In 2012, there were 195 heroin overdoses. That jumped to more than 440 last year.

Two years ago, Bill and Susan Phillips lost their 26-year-old son Ryan to a heroin overdose.

Currently, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration have ongoing heroin overdose investigations in 15 cities and towns, all over the state.

The new initiative will target local level distributors, setting up a protocol to collect evidence, and call the DEA whenever they’re called to an overdose.

"Law enforcement will treat all overdose scenes as crime scenes. The purpose behind this is to gather as much information as possible as to the source of the narcotics,” said Len Boyle, for the deputy chief state’s attorney.

Police and prosecutors said getting that information is key, because if they know the brand that’s being dealt is causing serious injury, or even death, then it goes from a simple distribution charge to manslaughter.

"These tragic deaths have occurred in every corner of our state. From the smaller towns, to the largest cities, no one has been spared,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daily.

The U.S. Attorney’s office announce it’s going to have an opioid conference on June 2 at Norwalk Community College. It is open to the public and parents and teachers are encouraged to attend.

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