Heroin problem worsens, Delray Beach Police look to solve it

Posted at 5:55 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 17:55:57-04

Delray Beach Police say they may be dealing with a lethal ingredient in heroin they haven't seen before.

"It's hard to fight this battle year in and yeah out," says Justin Kunzelman.

Justin remembers when he used seven years ago. "Pure opiate."

It's nowhere near the level it is now. "Heavier cut with high potency drugs that are cheaper to purchase," says Kunzelman.

October in Delray Beach is a prime example, with 9 deaths so far.

Dani Moschella with Delray Beach Police says the department has responded to more than four hundred heroin related calls this year.

The department is now hiring more officers and making sure patrols are equipped with Narcan, a life-saving drug used on people who have overdosed.

However, there's another useful tool they're working on getting.

"We're trying to get a position here at the department social worker type position that would meet with people who've overdosed. Talk to them, try to assess where they are at that point in they're lives," says Moschella.

Kunzelman, who works at a treatment center now, says first responders need to stay ahead of the current drug trends. "We have to start treating people where they're at."