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Special Report Part 2: The Business of Heroin

Updated: Tuesday, May 13 2014, 02:30 PM CDT

NATIONWIDE -- Hooked on Heroin. We continue our month long investigation into the growing problem of heroin across the nation.

Every Monday in May we'll be digging into the causes and effects of this deadly drug in our community.

Tom Bosco continues our coverage with the cost of the drug fight in small communities.

Despite three high-profile drug busts and more than 100 arrests in 3 months, police want you to know Marion is not overrun by heroin.

"This is a good place to live and raise a family. I raise my family in the city."

Still, May Jay McDonald acknowledges there is a problem.

"There's not 37,000 drug addicts in this community. But there are people who bring drugs into this community and we need to put them in jail. And there are people who use drugs and we need to get them help."

And he sees the effects in the town where he lives and works.

For one thing, his already understaffed department spends more time investigating and arresting drug dealers and uses who's families pay the cost of their abuse and crime.

"Another cost of drug crimes is the cost directly to you. Officials tell me drug crimes hit you in the pocketbook, right where you live and shop."

40 miles away in Knox County, last year indictments for heroin were second to only perscription pill abuse.

This year to date, heroin leads the way in knox county and leads to desperate addicts.

"All they think about all day long is where can I get money or something to trade to get my next tenth of a gram of heroin."

"Heroin leads to property crime."

Police say an increase in property crime leads to the decline of small towns like Marion.

"So now you have good solid tax-paying citizens taking their kids out of city schools, moving out of the city, moving farther and farther from the center of the city because they don't feel safe in their homes andmore because of property crime."

Then prices go up as retailers offset shoplifting.

"People are robbing them blind to pay for their drug addiction."

Law enforcement officials say it's a vicious circle that they are struggling to curb.

"We're going to have to find a way to solve this problem not only as a criminal problem but as a public health problem."

Be sure to tune in next Monday as we continue our special investigation series into the rising use and abuse of heroin. An epidemic sweeping the nation.

Special Report Part 2: The Business of Heroin

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