IBERVILLE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Four heroin overdoses in four days has Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi warning the public about a potentially bad batch of the drug that has hit the streets.
"We don't usually have four [heroin overdoses] in four months and we've had four in four days," the sheriff said.
Stassi admits the problem has all but gotten out of hand in the parish. "Some lady almost lost both of her children in one day and that has been in the last 72 hours. The latest one was last night," he said.
All four patients survived, but one was briefly in a coma, he said. Stassi thinks the latest round of the illegal drug is especially dangerous.
"It's heroin that either contains fentanyl or is of a high grade," he added. "There's no such thing as a good batch of heroin. These individuals that have this addiction need to step forward and let's get some help for them."
The sheriff posted a warning on his department's Facebook page, saying heroin "is quickly becoming a serious epidemic in our community."
"This has got to stop. Every life is too precious. If you have a drug problem, ask for help! Continuing to use drugs is not the answer. Help is available from your family and community members. If you are having trouble with drug dealers continuing to bother you, call the Sheriff's Office at 225-687-3553, they will be handled," said Stassi.
Stassi says they are working with other area law enforcement agencies, including the Plaquemine Police Department, Louisiana State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to crack down on those peddling the drugs, but admits it's hard to pinpoint the exact source. "This thing is constantly changing and if we arrest one today, then there's two there to take his or her place," said Stassi. "It's always a battle and the thirst for drugs is not going to stop."
While he believes it's almost impossible to fully eliminate the desire, he says his office is not giving up and he wants to put sellers of the illegal drug on notice. "If you continue to sell drugs in Iberville Parish, get used to seeing the narcotics officers at your door. We are not going to stop," he added.
He hopes the relentless effort to rid the parish of drugs will help save lives. "These people have a problem and we want to do what we can to help them," Stassi said.
9News reached out to the communications director at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, who says they have not seen a noticeable uptick in overdose patients at their facility.
Stassi says some of the victims were treated in Baton Rouge, while others went to Ochsner in Iberville Parish.