Washington Evening Journal
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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 19, 2017

Woman charged with  possession of heroin

By David Hotle | Jul 18, 2017

 

According to the Washington County call log, Charlene Cynthia Clark, 50, of Washington, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance — heroin, third offense; possession of a controlled substance, methadone, third offense; and unlawful possession of a prescription drug and possession of drug paraphermaila from an earlier incident after the results were returned from the DCI crime lab.

Washington County Sheriff Jared Schneider said today that heroin, a highly addictive opiate drug that is typically injected, but can also be smoked or inhaled, is not common in Washington County, but that it is found occasionally.

“Heroin has been around for quite a while,” Schneider said. “It is probably not as common in our community as it is in other ares in Iowa.”

He said heroin is more common in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area. He also said because people move around, some cases of heroin abuse have been discovered in Washington County.

About 25 percent of the people who use heroin become physically dependent. According to a report from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the number of treatment admissions rose from 186 in 2005 to 636 in 2014. The number of deaths caused by heroin rose from two in 2005 to 19 in 2014.

The report states that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain relievers such as Hydrocodone and Oxycodone, enough for every American to have a bottle of pills.

Prescription opioid sales in the U.S. have increased 300 percent since 1999, the report said.

It also said that as people’s tolerance for the substance increases and they may not be able to maintain their original source for the medication, they can turn to other sources and even switch from prescription drugs to cheaper and more risky substances like heroin.

According to a study cited in the report, 75 percent of the people who began opioid abuse in the 21st century indicated their first regular opioid was a prescription drug.

“It’s a big problem in America right now,” Schneider said. “It is probably one of the biggest issues in drug enforcement.”

 

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