Opioid epidemic is in North Iowa


MASON CITY, Iowa- According to local substance abuse agency’s over 220 people in North Iowa sought help with opioid addictions in the last couple of years.

A meeting held at Music Man Square in Mason City Wednesday looked to shine light on the issue. It was hosted by the Cedar Rapids Police Department as well as local law enforcement and various agencies. Data from Prairie Ridge shows the number of heroin related deaths have increased tremendously. In 2014 there were 19 heroin related deaths and 20 in 2013. That number is up from the early 2000’s when we saw only one or two death related to the drug.

“This drug is breaking ethnic, racial and sex barriers,” says Officer Al Fear, Cedar Rapids Police Officer and Eastern Iowa Heroin Initiative Coordinator. “I have interviewed 13 year olds, just kids still, who are addicted to heroin heroin all the way up to 60-70 year olds.”

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