Heroin arrests point to growing problem in central Indiana
A series of new arrests for the trafficking and sale of heroin in central Indiana point to a larger problem of addiction uncovered by 13 Investigates.
A three-month investigation into the trafficking and sale of heroin in Boone County has led to the arrests of five people, including William Anderson, 24, and Lucinda Anderson, 21, who are now facing possession and dealing charges. Earlier in the week, the Hamilton-Boone County Drug Task Force arrested Ian and Crystal Browning. Police say they found black tar heroin in the couple's home. They also arrested Christopher Christman for paraphernalia possession.
The new users in the growing problem of heroin are likely teenagers in the suburbs or rural areas. Parents say awareness is one thing, but solutions to the problem are hard to find.
"He started using marijuana. The next thing you know, he is using heroin," said Dawn Brock of Zionsville about her only son. The teenager was arrested and held in juvenile detention in Logansport, but never went through rehab. Brock is very concerned about a relapse.
Heroin can be a powder in a capsule, packaged in a balloon or folded in foil and sold. It can be snorted, smoked or injected. The going price is $10 for a tenth of a gram.
Officers are reporting an increase in cases of the more potent black tar heroin from a year ago.
"Should you be aware of it? Absolutely," said Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell.
"But once we know there is a problem, then what do we do?" Brock said.
Brock's son doesn't have the option that John and Cara had. The Boone County teens made the brave decision to come forward and reveal their addiction. They had insurance that paid for rehabilitation.
"When it comes to heroin, I mean, there is no self control with it, so it really does scare me a lot," said John.
"Really I would just blame myself. It was...terrible the worst choice I have ever made," said Cara.
The friends from Lebanon say they are drug-free now after going to rehab.
"Cara has insurance; she has health insurance, and that $28,000 turned into $1,800, so $1,800 is what we owed," said Cara's mother.
Even with help, they know relapse is a risk.
"I don't want to get back to square one because all I have done is improved and I don't want to be back at the bottom step," said John.
But Brock's son can't get near the staircase.
"The only recourse that I have had is going through the justice system because I don't have, you know, $25,000 to $60,000 to send him away to get him the help that he needs," she said.
She added, "I don't think jail is the answer to this problem. I think these kids need help."
The Kochs of Winchester know that all too well with a record it's hard to get a job when you get out.
"There is no shot for this that makes it go away," said Mike Koch.
Mike and Pam Koch buried Matthew, the third of their four boys, on Sunday. He was drug-free for the last seven months. Six of those months were spent behind bars before he overdosed on heroin.
"One night took him away from us. One. I don't know whether it was one capsule or one syringe or however that is but one evening and he was gone," said Pam.
Matthew's fate is Dawn Brock's biggest fear.
"I don't know how to put one foot in front of the other if I lose my son, and I'm reaching out for help. I need help. I don't know how to do this on my own. I've been trying to do everything that I can think to do to try and help him and I just feel like it's getting worse," she said.
It's a cycle that is very difficult to stop. Concerned families have set up a fund called CLEAN, Can't Live Another Day Addicted to Narcotics, through the Community Foundation of Boone County. The fund was set up to provide rehabilitation for families needing financial assistance.
Narconon also provides support. Call 800-775-8750 to talk to a drug rehab counselor.