WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's a small powdery drug that law enforcement officials say packs a powerful punch, and now the death toll from heroin is shooting up across the area.
"A majority of crime is linked to drugs some how or another, so heroin is huge problem in New Hanover County," Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer said.
Local law enforcement say it is once again battling a drug problem with usage rates of heroin nearing an all-time high. That has left area narcotics units looking to cut off the source of the supply.
"Most of the drugs are coming from overseas when you're talking about heroin, and it comes out of New York and New Jersey. The past five years the usage of it has increased greatly," Brewer said.
Over the weekend Wilmington Police responded to two deaths they say appear to be the results of overdose. At each scene they found labeled bindles of heroin; one nicknamed "Speed" with a picture of a toy car, and another stamped "Let's Go."
"They mark their drug," Brewer said. "We've seen it named 'Dream Catcher' and 'Twilight,' and the reason they mark it is because they want to get that high that they got the first time. The potency that's marked with it, even though it may kill them, that's what they want."
With usage rates on the rise drug officers are doing what they can to weed out the needle in the haystack.
"When that demand is there, people are going to supply it," Brewer said. "They find creative ways, and we just have to work and be diligent in uncovering those ways and uncovering ways that they have come up with to try and sneak it in and sneak it over the border."
Anyone who has information or comes in contact with either of these labels is asked to call the Wilmington Police Department's main number at (910) 343-3600. Information may also be submitted anonymously through Text-A-Tip. Enter Tip708 and the information, and send to CRIMES (274637).