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BG Police deal with growing heroin problem

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BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Heroin is becoming a growing problem in Bowling Green, and police are working to stop it before it claims any more lives.

"It's a problem that reaches all different facets of the community," said Major Tony Hetrick of the Bowling Green Police.

Police say in the past few years, the number of people using heroin has skyrocketed. In Bowling Green, they say they are seeing more China white heroin than ever before.

"When I started my career here 17 years ago, it was very rare that we would get heroin," Hetrick said. "We'd heard about it, you'd see it once in awhile, but now it's becoming we see quite frequently, couple of times a week sometimes."

Addicts can be found all over the city.

"We're having overdoses in apartments and homes," said Hetrick.

One such overdose happened in the bathroom of a Burger King. But police say this is not a city problem, but a regional one. They say more often than not, the drugs are coming from Toledo.

"People drive up there to get it and they use it on the way back," Hetrick said.

According to the Lucas County Coroner, 113 people have died from heroin-related deaths between 2010 and February of 2013.

Police say there could be a much higher death rate if it wasn't for a medicine that brings patients back from the brink.

Now police say addicts are onto a new scheme: stealing from big-box stores.

"Walmart, Home Depot, they bring those back, they get gift cards, they trade them for heroin," Hetrick explained. "We're finding a heroin connection in almost all of these theft rings."

It's a ring of theft and abuse that police say seems to have no end in sight.

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