MPD, DA’s office targeting dealers to combat rising heroin deaths

MEMPHIS, TN (NBC) - Mid-South law enforcement officers and prosecutors are fighting back against a rising heroin epidemic, and they're now looking at new suspects.

This is a new push by law enforcement and prosecutors to try to prevent more deaths.

After a rise in heroin deaths here in the Mid-south, Memphis Police and the Shelby County District Attorney's office say they're going after the dealers who they say are to blame.

"I'm glad they're doing that," said substance abuse counselor Norman Miller. "That's needed."

Miller is also a 30-year recovering cocaine addict who now works to help others turn their lives around. He said he knows heroine addictions are on the rise.

"In the last two years, that's what we're seeing, that's all we're seeing," Miller said.

Also becoming more prevalent are videos that show people high on heroin.

When you look at the numbers it shows a steady rise. There were 44 deaths in 2013, 76 in 2014, 81 in 2015 and 2016 numbers will likely be higher, According to the Shelby County DA's office.

"Law enforcement is one side of it," Miller said. "Treatment and prevention, we definitely know is needed."

Investigators hope going after dealers will mean more arrests and fewer deaths.

Drug abuse counselors are also stressing the importance of treatment and education.

If you need drug counseling, call Innovative Counseling at 901-276-0220.

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