Heroin overdoses and deaths in Charlotte have more than tripled since last year, a concern to authorities who want to prevent a repeat of the city's drug battles of the early 1990s.
Local officials are particularly concerned that gangs, most of which are connected to Mexican drug organizations, are aggressively targeting teenagers.
"We're talking at the Arboretum. We're talking at Northlake mall. We're talking in downtown Charlotte," Mayor Pat McCrory said Tuesday, when the new statistics were released. "We're talking in every neighborhood. Both private and public schools. This is a serious issue."
In 2008, there were eight heroin overdoses in Charlotte and three deaths from heroin, according to police statistics. This year, with two months to go, there are already 33 overdoses and 10 deaths. And seizures of heroin have quadrupled from 1,075 grams to 4,989 grams.
McCrory and Sheriff Chipp Bailey said they have discussed more drug testing in the county jail to better understand the extent of drug use.
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