BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Two thousand eighteen is shaping up to be a record year when it comes to the amount of illegal drugs being seized on Brown County streets.
Photo: Drug Enforcement Administration
Drugs include heroin, meth and the potent opioid fentanyl.
The first six months of 2018 have shattered stats of drug activity in 2017. The Brown County Drug Task Force says heroin seizures hit an all time high. The seizures have doubled last year's numbers.
Meth seizures have also doubled.
Fentanyl - which is 50 times more potent than heroin - is up 152 percent.
"We're focusing on it because it's causing the most harm, too, so that's part of the reason we're seeing more seizures," says Lt. Kevin Kinnard, Brown County Drug Task Force.
Families deal with the immediate impact of addiction and overdoses. Meanwhile, the drug use has a ripple effect on the entire community.
"It's not just a cash business, it's also a bartering business, so you can steal stuff and trade it for drugs," Kinnard says. "So we see a spike in retail theft, see a spike in burglaries, the property crimes obviously go up."
Kinnard says more young children are being referred to Child Protective Services having been exposed to drugs or having ingested drugs in their homes.
Kinnard says the task force is seeing more people switch back and forth between meth--a stimulant--and heroin--a depressant.
Kinnard says that can cause strange behaviors and mood swings.
"If you go to your source and you can't get heroin or can't get fentanyl, and the person says, well, I can get you meth, they'll take meth. It's whatever gets you high," Kinnard says.