Archived Story

Heroin concerns addressed at council meeting

Published 10:48am Tuesday, October 16, 2012 Updated 12:49pm Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In an open forum session at the city council meeting Monday night, Fergus Falls resident Denise Mauer asked about a possible heroin problem in the area.

Mauer said she had heard reports of two young people dying due to overdosing on heroin recently and wanted to know if the police were doing anything to address the issue.

Chief of public safety Kile Bergren said the deaths have not been confirmed as heroin related, but heroin has become more prevalent not only here, but nationwide. There are a lot of rumors, and there is a lot of misinformation regarding heroin in Fergus Falls, but the city is approaching the issue from within the school with the school resource officer and from an enforcement standpoint outside the school.

“Our efforts aren’t only on heroin,” he said. “It’s on heroin and all other drugs.”

Drugs typically go in cycles. In the 1980s and 1990s, cocaine was popular. In the late 1990s and into the 2000s, methamphetamine became used more. Today, prescription painkillers are popular, and it’s common to see a transition from painkillers to heroin because of their similar effects, Bergren said.

  • P. Carlson

    I have been complaining for several years about the slap on the wrist orders by the judge in this area when people are brought up on drug charges. The police bring them in and the judge lets them go. We need better judges elected.

    • cesscin

      Just look at the county jail site and you will see there is a bad drug problem in this town

    • Walt Henry

      We need to raise our taxes to build bigger jails. We need to raise our taxes to hire more guards. We need to raise our taxes to pay the food bill for more inmates. Now I’m not saying judges should just let addicts go but I am not going to accept some simple “no cost” solution to a complex problem without pointing out it is not so simple.

  • Cascade

    You’d think they could have at least mentioned this in the article:
    IMO, rumors are quickly started/circulated due to the lack of information being released and reported. How long has it been since we have had an update to the murder that took place in our community this past summer?

  • concerned

    interesting how everyone ignores how children fed Adderall, Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Desoxyn, are in realty being fed Meth.
    My point being, prescribing children these drugs is directly to blame for the rise in meth abuse.
    as for what is the solution to these various drug problems?
    1. education
    2. acknowledging what has worked elsewhere and implementing the same or similar systems.
    3. in Spain most substances have been decriminalized for over a decade now, and the result has been steady decline in drug use and overall crime.
    4. obviously the war on drugs is a complete failure and waste of money.
    5. treatment is only effective for those who seek it and want to be free of drugs, forcing users into treatment is a complete waste of resources and dangerous to those there to achieve freedom for addiction.

  • P. Carlson

    Larry E., you mention the cost of putting the drug crimes in jail. What about some of the costs for those not locked up? These people rob businesses, homes, people cars and private property to get money for drugs because their drug usage keeps them from getting jobs to support themselves. Sometimes citizens are murdered in the process of getting money for their drugs.
    Do you think we can afford this part of people using drugs? Zero tolerance is the only way to turn around this rampant drug use. People need to turn in neighbors and friends if they know drugs are being used or sold. Parents need to love their children enough to turn them in so the can get help. The entire community needs to pull their heads out of their sandboxes and say, ” I am mad as 7734 and I am no going to tolerate this drug use any more.”
    Don J. You are so right on the money about doping children. Since children started getting labeled with learning problems and given drugs, this was the start of rampant drug use in youth and adults. How can a parent allow a child to be put on drugs? Increase PE to levels 40 years ago and the kids will run off the extra energy and be able to sit in class and concentrate again as they did back in the 60′s and 70′s. When parents teach their children at a young age there are consequences for bad behavior, drugs are not needed when they go to school.

    • Walt Henry

      Pam, I’m not one of the GOP simpletons who think taxes should never be increased for any purpose whatsoever. If a majority of Minnesotans believe it is best to jail every drug addict without exception then let’s find a way to pay for it.
      Mr. Johnson here speaks to that very point–his first two suggestions require spending more money than we are currently spending. His last two points suggest places where we could cut funding and use that money to pay for his first two suggestions. It seems sensible.
      And that is what adults do, Pam. Make reasonable suggestions of possible solutions and look for reasonable ways to pay for them. No new tax pledges are for simpletons, idiots and children.

  • concerned

    zero tolerance laws have shown Zero effectivness

    • krank

      Build more jails…..Thats always works when you have somone thats addicted….Hows that working for everyone…Just shove them behind bars so they cant get little johnny hooked…It hasnt worked people….You cant build a jail to solve someones addiction problem….Look how this is working now..we have overloaded jails to the point they let real criminals free because they have too many addicts taking up the space…Treatment is the only way out of this mess….Paying for treatment and halfway houses are alot more cheaper than building new jails and watching the same people come through the same doors they were let out of a week before…Treatment worked in the seventies…It worked reallly well…Its when we decide that our taxes are better off building jails than spending on people do we get this revolving door….Thats if we are more interested in people than money…..Because what we have going on now brings money into the county on the backs of the sick addicted person..and keeps the drugs flowing into our streets and little kids getting addicted every day…..

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