Heroin Overdose is on the Rise - 3 Victims in One Weekend

By KBJR News 1

May 6, 2013 Updated May 6, 2013 at 6:41 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM)

Duluth Police have experienced an alarming number of heroin related overdoses within the past two weeks.

From April 26th to May 4th Duluth police responded to four overdose cases, three of which took place this weekend.

"It's something that's popular, it's something that's highly addictive," says Lt. Steve Stracek.

Heroin use has been on the rise over the past year.
Police attribute varying degrees of potency for the growing number of overdose cases, Stracek informs.

"A shipment will come in higher potency not used to it, not prepared to take that strong of a drug and they are taking their usual dosage and overdosing."

A man police call a well–known drug dealer and burglar, Nino Alonzo Franklin, admitted to selling heroin to a recent overdose victim. He is facing several charges including possession and intent to sell.

"He fled, he rammed one of our officer's vehicles with his vehicle. He had two firearms in his possession at his residence...he's a pretty bad guy," Stracek informs.

Heroin users have often been linked to property crimes as they try and get their fix. But doctors say it's not a matter of morals but of addiction.

"There subjects are to use and to abuse. You or I or anybody will get addicted to these medicines if we use them on a regular basis. It's not a question of character it's just a biochemical fact," informs Dr. Scott Wolff, emergency room physician at St. Lukes.

A crackdown on prescription drugs led users to substitute them with heroin, the cheaper more available alternative.

So these drug dealers moved in found sources for large quantities of heroin and now are able to sell those larger quantities and distribute them to the sub–dealers, adds Stracek.

Duluth Police hope that efforts to crackdown on dealers will eventually clean up the city.

Officers say most of the recent OD victims are relatively young, in their late 20's to early 30's.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware