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Published December 05, 2011, 10:24 PM

Recent heroin arrests have metro authorities on watch

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The rising number of heroin arrests has police in the F-M area ramping up efforts to get a handle on the drug. They say the young age of users is alarming and may be because heroin delivers a similar high as prescription drugs.

The rising number of heroin arrests has police in the F-M area ramping up efforts to get a handle on the drug. They say the young age of users is alarming and may be because heroin delivers a similar high as prescription drugs.

Lieutenant Joel Vettel says he doesn't want to alarm the community on this issue, but rather bring more attention so it doesn't become a bigger problem.

Lt. Joel Vettel – Fargo Police: “There is the potential for this to happen in our area and to become more of a prevalent drug and the last thing we want is to allow it to get a foothold here.”

Cass County is prosecuting five cases of heroin delivery and three heroin possession cases, all stemming from arrest made since April, and in Clay County there are four heroin cases are pending.

Vettel says this has been a trend nationwide, and being in Fargo we are seeing more and more of the drug coming into our community from surrounding areas like Minneapolis and Chicago. He says people typically overdose because of the difference in the quality of the drug from dealer to dealer.

Lt. Joel Vettel: “The purity rate can change by 10%, 20%, 15% and when those things happen that's when people OD, people take and are used to this high and this amount of drugs and then all of a sudden and then they take the same amount of drugs but because of the purity rate is greater those people end up having an overdose.”

Vettel says police will continue to keep the community informed and keep up their efforts to stop the problem before it starts. Vettel says youth may be turning to heroin because it is becoming harder to get prescription drugs.

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