Lufkin officials cracking down on heroin usage

Lufkin officials cracking down on heroin usage
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Police across the nation are warning about an exceptionally deadly lethal batch of heroin called, "Hollywood." It's claimed eight lives in the past week in Massachusetts. Officials said the heroin epidemic is growing, even here in East Texas.

"It's absolutely one of the most dangerous chemicals on the planet without a doubt," said Brent Tanksley, Lufkin a counselor with ADAC.

It's referred to as one of the most sought-after drugs.

"There's an underline drug problem," said Georgia Kimmy, the drug program coordinator for the 159th Judicial District Court.

"It's very, very serious," Tanksley said.

Because of its price and easy access, heroin has climbed its way to the top five most-wanted drugs in deep East Texas. With more buys, come more addictions.

"Consistent use of heroin will lead to some type of dependency," Tanksley said. "It just depends."

Once you're addicted, it's hard to pull away. Tanksley said one of the reasons heroin is considered one of the most dangerous and deadly street drugs is because you never really know what's inside.

"If someone is buying it off the street they have no idea, there is no quality control," Tanksley said. "There is no FDA stepping in saying this is what has to occur this is the regulated amount."

The increase of drug usage and the crimes that follow them was the inspiration behind a drug program in Angelina County.

"We just decided on our own that we needed to do this for Angelina County," Kimmy said.

Program administrators pride themselves on monitoring drug offenders very closely.

"They have to get drug tested twice a week, so if they are dirty or testing positive we send them to jail that weekend. Its immediate," Kimmy said.

Before that drug program, Kimmy said addicts and drug offenders returned to prison 90 percent of the time.

Since the program, that number has lowered to 75 percent.

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