Heroin problem spreading in Charlotte - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Heroin problem spreading in Charlotte

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Black tar heroin is cheap, addictive and becoming a major problem in the Charlotte area, say police.  

And it's not just the so called "junkies" getting high, it could be your neighbor next door.

"We found that they were coming from the best neighborhoods in Charlotte, and that goes against the stereotypical addict, that they're from the poor side of town," said Bob Martin, Director of the Substance Abuse Center at CMC-Mercy.

Martin analyzed the top five zip codes of his heroin patients. Matthews ranked first, followed by Mint Hill, Cramerton, the Myers Park area and east Charlotte.

He says the majority of incoming patients are white collar professionals.

"We've had lawyers, healthcare professionals, we've had accountants," he said.

Police say the drugs typically travel from Mexico through Ohio onto Charlotte.

The city's young professionals are a prime target for dealers.

Martin says addicts usually begin with prescription pain killers and alcohol before they crave more.

"It addresses their stress, their pain, life is difficult," he said.

He says dealers use text messages to communicate and often meet in public places such as grocery store parking lots and wealthy neighborhoods. The cost is just $9 a hit. It's easy for dealers to go undetected. But police and prosecutors say they're becoming wise to their ways.

Last year, CMPD made 93 heroin arrests, so far this year they've made two heroin busts. Those arrests are often made in the least likely areas.

For more information on heroin treatment, contact CMC-Mercy at 704-304-5248.



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