How Heroin Has Invaded Places Like Dayton, Delivered Like Pizza


Dayton, Ohio, is one of the new frontiers of the U.S. heroin epidemic, says the Washington Post. A sophisticated supply chain is fueling the nation’s surging heroin appetite, causing heroin to surpass cocaine and meth to become the No. 1 drug threat for the first time. As demand has grown, the flow of heroin, a once-taboo drug that is now easier to score in some cities than crack or pot, has changed, too. Mexican cartels have overtaken the U.S. heroin trade, imposing an almost corporate discipline. They grow and process the drug themselves, replacing their traditional black tar with an innovative high-quality powder with mass market appeal: It can be smoked or snorted by newcomers as well as shot up by hard-core addicts.

They have broadened distribution beyond big-city heroin centers like Chicago or New York to target unlikely places such as Dayton. The midsize Midwestern city is considered to be an epicenter of the heroin problem, with addicts buying and overdosing in droves. Crack dealers on street corners have been supplanted by heroin dealers ranging across a far wider landscape, almost invisible to law enforcement. They arrange deals by cellphone and deliver heroin like pizza.

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