Reaction from 3 Heroin Busts in 2 days in Central PA

By Carolyn Donaldson

Published 03/10 2014 11:49PM

Updated 03/10 2014 11:54PM

Cash, heroin and cell phones all seized at an area hotel Monday and three wanted fugitives from big cities now behind bars.

As Richland Township Police Chief Mike Burgan says, "It is scary to see all of that being distributed out on the streets."

On the same day, Altoona police discover $40,000 worth of heroin at a home.

These arrests are just 1 day after 2 people were arrested at a Blair county restaurant, accused of making a heroin deal.

James Walstrom, Head of the state AG's Drug Task force here, says heroin usage is up.

Walstrom says, "There also seems to be an abundance of demand right now and if the local people can't fill the supply, then the local people will go out of town or the out of town will come to the local people."

He added, "We think that part of it is because of the heavy enforcement on prescription drugs ebbs and flows the opiate based drugs - heroin and the pain pills- back and forth."

Judy Rosser runs drug treatment and intervention programs where the number of people seeking help is also up 15%.

As Rosser explains, "I was just looking at numbers, whereas last year we were close to 1,200 last year total, we're over 950 right now in February."

For both arrests and getting people the help they need, it's important that if you see something,  say something.

"If someone sees something going on they're seeing hand to hand exchanges and they can get a license number  or something like that we certainly work to track down who that is," says Walstrom.

And Rosser adds, "Listen to your gut. If you think there's an addiction issue going on here, you're probably right. You need to step out to get help for yourself, so that you're stronger to deal with this issue, but also don't deny it and encourage your loved ones to get help."

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