Potent heroin hits Abbotsford streets
Heroin addicts in Abbotsford are frightened for their lives after seeing several of their own almost die, police said Tuesday.
Over the past few days, Abbotsford Drug Squad members have had direct conversations with users about heroin with a potentially deadly level of purity being pushed into the downtown core of the city, where the bulk of addicts congregate to score and shoot up.
Const. Ian MacDonald with the Abbotsford Police Department said hardened junkies had serious enough reactions to the spiked drug that users shooting up with those affected thought they had died.
Slipping lethal doses of heroin into an established drug venue could herald a new dealer looking to expand territory, MacDonald said.
"It's indicative of drug marketing, I don't know how else to say it.
"Heroin is addictive as it is, but part of a marketing strategy a drug dealer might use is to have a stronger product to lure or hook users."
MacDonald said this type of information usually filters down to police from EHA (ambulance) responders or the hospital concerning an increased number of transports of drug-related incidents.
"Either someone is trying to create new customers, or steal new customers," he said.
"[This heroin] potentially could cause permanent [physical] damage or death," he said.
He indicated the fact that heroin users and addicts had approached police about the problem, something he described as "uncharacteristic," showed how serious the situation was.
BY RAFE ARNOTT, ABBOTSFORD TIMESNOVEMBER 17, 2009 4:02 PM