How to spot heroin abuse - KMOV.com

How to spot heroin abuse

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(KMOV.com) – The DEA and St. Charles County Police are spreading the word on what people should spot for signs of heroin abuse.

The epidemic is on the rise and police are concerned its signs are not easy to spot. The drug is plentiful, potent and deadly. St. Charles County police say they are seeing more heroin in their evidence lab every week.

“I typically analyze anywhere from 90 to 100 cases a month and about 35 to 50 of those cases have some heroin sample in them,” said Cassie Crabb, a forensic scientist with St. Charles County police.

Police say heroin is not just used via needle but often inhaled through a straw.

“By snorting or inhaling it, so we’ll see a lot of things like straws or pen tubes that have a powder residue on the inside so we can actually test that residue and get a test for heroin,” said Crabb.

The drug is also swallowed in capsule form. The capsules are often clear but some may have a color. One investigator told News 4 the capsules can be found at a high school party.

“Typically when we see these capsules, they’re also known as beans and buttons, depending on how many you get. They’re going anywhere between $5 and $10 a piece,” said Juan Wilson with the DEA.

Experts say the drug is cheaper than marijuana and is often packaged in bags called “baggie corners,” which is the corner of a plastic sandwich bag that is twisted and cut off.

“When parents ask for signs and symptoms of heroin use, I’ll ask them to look in drawers, to see if there are any spoons and also look at the bottom of them because you’ll see the charring underneath the,. People will use a lighter at the bottom of the spoon,” said Wilson.

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