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Heroin abuse continues to grow across Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Heroin abuse in Wisconsin has escalated for the last six years, and it shows no signs of abating.

That's according to a statewide assessment of the problem, conducted over the past year by the FBI and other agencies.

The report says drug dealers have found heroin to be a cheaper alternative to prescription drugs. Most heroin enters the U.S. from Mexico and South America -- and it reaches Wisconsin through Minneapolis, Chicago, and Rockford Illinois.

Users are generally white men, age 21 to 25 who start out abusing opiates like Percocet and Vicodin.

The report says one hit can cost around $15 in Milwaukee, but twice that much in Green Bay due to supply and demand. Local police officials have mentioned that before.

The FBI's John Kumm says Wisconsin is the only state that has done a statement assessment -- but he cautions that it's not complete. That's because data is not available in all parts of the state.

For example, the report found 187 heroin overdose deaths in Wisconsin in 2012 -- but some death certificates only list "drug abuse" as a cause of death, and those are not counted in these figures.

Still, the ones that we do know of are about three times the 67 heroin deaths reported in 2008.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)