Heroin overdose: An epidemic in Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Heroin overdose: An epidemic in Memphis

(SOURCE: MPD) (SOURCE: MPD)
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

It's something that is hard to wrap your head around. Heroin is a huge problem everywhere and that includes the Memphis area. 

On Wednesday night, two heroin overdose calls came across the scanner in a matter of two minutes apart.

Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County District Attorney's office said they see a lot of heroin in the county.

"Heroin and other opiate addictions are now taking more lives than any other city drug in the nation," Col. Paul Wright with MPD said.

That is why MPD and the DA's office have put a public service announcement on MPD's Facebook page about the problem of heroin.

"Just this year, Memphis police officers have handled 263 heroin overdose cases with 75 deaths," the announcement says. "The heroin epidemic has no race or gender that it effects and the victims vary in age."

Remember the video recorded by a passerby that showed a couple, one 59-years old and the other 60-years old, who overdosed after snorting heroin in the bathroom of a Walgreens? They both survived.

The heroin epidemic is so serious in the Memphis area that the police department and DA have formed a task force to investigate heroin deaths and criminally prosecute the suppliers of the drug.

"Few months ago the grand jury indicted over 40 people who have been trafficking and selling heroin in our community," District Attorney Amy Weirich said.

The PSA also has a warning about heroin being cut with the very powerful drug fentanyl. It a combination that investigators said often results in death.

Memphis police are investigating schools and talking with neighborhood groups about the heroin epidemic. 

If you have concerns or need assistance, call the Memphis Police Department.

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