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Winnebago County law enforcement has new way to fight heroin use

Heroin and drug paraphernalia (courtesy of FOX 11).
Heroin and drug paraphernalia (courtesy of FOX 11).

NEENAH, WI (WTAQ) - A new method is being used to help fight the growing heroin problem in Winnebago County.

The Winnebago County District Attorney's office is now prosecuting people who overdose on heroin with possession of the drug.

Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson tells FOX 11 that if his officers are called to the scene of an overdose and find drug paraphernalia, they can request a blood test of the individual from the hospital.

That sample is then sent to the state crime lab for testing. If the sample shows heroin or its derivatives in the person's system, they can be charged with possession, which is a felony offense in Wisconsin.

Wilkinson says his department has seen a big increase in heroin use and drug related crimes in the past few years.

Wilkinson adds heroin is one of the most addictive drugs and he says it's important for the community to recognize the problem.