WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)-- The police department is asking the federal government to declare our area a high intensity drug trafficking area.
With thousands of bindles of heroin taken off the streets just over the past few weeks they say it's an issue worth fighting.
“We've had some big seizures of heroin,” said Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous, “Heroin is killing our kids.”
Wilmington has a heroin problem Evangelous is trying to fight against.
A federal designation of Wilmington as a high intensity drug trafficking area would bring federal dollars to Wilmington to help fight it.
“We need to maximize our enforcement efforts to stop that supply of drugs, at least slow it down,” Evangelous said.
“Heroin is the largest of all of the substance abuse that we,” said Molly Daughtry, Director at RHA Behavioral Health.
She says they offer a multitude of services to help those who are hoping to get help.
“It’s inexpensive and for whatever reasons it’s very easy to get,” she says of heroin and adds the help is not easy, “Heroin is challenging and I think particularly for the young folks, there’s so many lifestyle changes that need to be made once somebody decides to get clean it’s hard for people.”
“There’s so many people being prescribed opiate pain medication,” said Michelle Stanley and as a licensed clinical addiction specialist she deals with those folks one on one.
She says it’s that addiction driving the push toward heroin, adding there are more options for help in Wilmington than ever before.
For Chief Evangelous the fight against heroin is about the urgency of now.
“Heroin is killing our people around this country,” said Evangelous, “we should be aware of it and we should care about it.”
We asked the office of drug control policy if there were going to make the declaration for Wilmington.
They said the request was under review.