Charlotte, N.C., worries about more black tar heroin

Charlotte ObserverJune 29, 2011 

The escalation of black tar heroin in Charlotte has police worried about growing addiction and dangers for young people.

"It's as serious as the beginning of the crack cocaine epidemic," said UNC Charlotte criminal justice professor Paul Friday. "And the reason it is serious is because it can expand so quickly."

Friday spoke to the Charlotte City Council on Monday, warning about increasing use of the highly addictive drug that seems particularly prevalent in affluent areas and among young people. He was joined by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, who told council members that suppliers are Mexican-based cartels that operate as efficiently as a business.

"We take a cell off the street and oftentimes, they'll make another cell in the next five days because they're at the bottoms of the distribution chain," Maj. Glen Neimeyer said at a Tuesday press conference.

Neimeyer said users are typically educated, mostly white and from areas of Charlotte where crime is not prevalent.

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