Heroin is an Epidemic in Marquette County

By Keri Solis
Sheriff Kim Gaffney recently spoke at a Montello Rotary Club meeting about heroin use incidents in Marquette County. Since 2003 there have been 13 deaths caused by heroin. Overdoses occur on a regular basis.

Why has heroin become the drug of choice? It is cheap and easy to hide. While various prescription pain medications were recently popular on the streets, manufacturers have changed the formulas to make them time released. This causes addicts to look for an alternative. For those who become addicted to painkillers after a legitimate injury with a legal prescription, heroin becomes a substitute. According to undercover detectives, cocaine on the other hand, is a drug that is now rarely found in Marquette County.

Along with heroin comes other crime. The county currently has two people in custody who are believed to be connected to a string of burglaries. Investigators believe these crimes were committed by the need to get money for heroin.

Marquette County currently has three detectives for all crimes, but according to Gaffney, he could use 1-2 detectives on top of this just to pursue drugs alone. Most of the drugs that end up in the county come from the Chicago area. Some come from Madison and Milwaukee. A tenth of a gram sells for about $60, Gaffney said.

Help is available for those who are addicted to heroin or other drugs at Marquette Chemical Dependency Service. They can be contacted at 608-297-3181.