Heroin continues to make deadly comeback in Nashville

Heroin continues to make deadly comeback in Nashville (Image 1)

Local experts believe an illegal drug once popular in the 1960s and 70s is making a come back in Nashville.

According to Sgt. Gene Donegan, heroin is becoming a more prevalent problem in Music City.

“How often am I seeing it? Or how often can I see it? Everyday. My guys are making a buy right now,” he told News 2.

Heroin, which is a white-powder opioid, is highly addictive.

“What they're doing is they're looking for a cheaper, better high. They're finding that with heroin,” Donegan said.

According to the 27 year veteran, he and his officers are seeing people from all walks of life getting involved with heroin.

“We're seeing [people] as young as 15 from very affluent families,” Donegan said. “We're seeing older, established professionals using heroin. It really is not respecting any boundaries right now.”

News 2 spoke with Dr. Chapman Sledge runs Cumberland Heights, an addition treatment facility in Nashville.

He said he believes heroin started its comeback more than a decade ago with the release of drugs such as oxycodone, which is the equivalent of synthetic heroin.

For years the prescription pain pills were easily available and easily crushed and used to get high.

“As the number of prescriptions went up, the amount of abuse went up,” Sledge explained. “The distance from abuse to dependence is very small with heroin.”

Of the more than 9,000 drugs and narcotics offenses reported to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in 2012, only 189 were heron related.

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