Bucks County DA announces heroin crackdown

Watch report from Action News
March 8, 2014 4:05:11 AM PST
The Bucks County District Attorney has announced a new effort to crack down on what he calls a heroin and opiate epidemic engulfing the community.

One of the goals of the District Attorney's office is to trace an overdose death back to the dealer and treat it as a homicide, but the DA says he needs help to get there.

"Our whole nation is being flooded with heroin," said District Attorney David Heckler.

The message: heroin, a 19th century compound is killing 21st century young people.

"We want to grab the public by the throat and shake them into the reality that this is killing our kids, their kids, the kids in Bucks County," said Deputy District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.

The DA's office saying the number of heroin deaths have doubled in Bucks County since 2012. There have been two deaths so far in 2014, both in the last ten days.

Officials are hoping that people will use newly set up hotlines to call, text or email information about dealers.

"If you are concerned parent or a concerned neighbor or uncle or a teacher, just leave us an anonymous tip," said Weintraub.

At Buck County's largest counseling center they are seeing heroin addicted kids as young as 14.

"That is one of the most disturbing trends that we have seen, and that actually led us to begin an adolescent counseling program," said Jerry Birkelbach, Aldie Counseling Center.

Experts say many kids start with prescription painkillers stolen from family medicine cabinets then switch to heroin because it is much cheaper.

The District Attorney urged people with unused pills at home to bring them to secure drop boxes to keep them out of the wrong hands.

"Get the garbage out of med cabinet unless you are actively using a prescription and you've got to get rid of it," said District Attorney Heckler.

The DA says there are lock boxes set up for those prescription drugsat most Bucks County police stations.

To alert authorities about drug crimes, text the word BUCKSDRUGTIPS and your tip to TIP411 (847411) or call 215-345-DRUG or email at drugtips@co.bucks.pa.us.


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