Drug raids highlight geographic reach of heroin problem

(Provided Photo/ISP)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The effects of heroin use have been felt across Indianapolis.

Law enforcement officials as well as medical professionals agree that there is not just one “hot spot” for heroin in the city.

That’s part of what makes this a tough crime for local authorities to stop.

Residents of a west Indianapolis neighborhood said they were not surprised when police showed up early Wednesday morning.

Many said they suspected drug use at a house on South Belleview Place.

It is one of many raided Wednesday during Operation “This and That.”

However, authorities said that neighborhood is just one of many affected by heroin use.

Just a month ago, a different heroin ring was busted in east Indianapolis.

Wednesday’s raids took place on the west side of the city.

Detective David Spurgeon said the geographic spread of heroin is an overwhelming problem for local police.

“We need enforcement from not only IMPD, but state and federal authorities as well to combat the issue,” he said.

He said part of the problem is that no one area is safe from the drug.

He also said people even travel to Indianapolis to buy and use heroin.

“So we have people from other communities coming into Indianapolis to overdose,” he said.

The geographic spread of the drug is also felt by first responders.

EMS responds to heroin overdoses all across Indianapolis nearly every day.

“The folks aren’t doing it at home, they’re doing it in public places. They don’t want to do this where their family is. They don’t want the people they’re purchasing from to know where they live,” Indianapolis EMS PIO Carl Rochelle.

And heroin is also trafficked into the city from surrounding counties.

Wednesday after announcing the operation, authorities commented on how pervasive this issue is, citing a recent poll that ranks Indianapolis fourth in the nation for use of heroin.

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