Heroin in Kitsap

Almost two weeks ago, an employee at a local clothing store made a startling discovery — a small baggie with a black substance inside.

The substance? Black tar heroin.

And it wasn’t found in a small, obscure store at the “dark end of the street” — rather, at the county’s most public place, the Kitsap Mall in Silverdale.

An employee of the Forever 21 store Feb. 14 spotted the bag in a dressing room and eventually called Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputies.

However, before they could get there that night, the likely owners of the bag came looking for it, deputies said.

A woman came in shortly after the discovery and asked if she could check the dressing room because she’d “forgotten something.” She was unsuccessful in her search, as the employees had already taken it out.

The woman left, but a man that she’d been seen with at the store earlier soon came in saying his girlfriend had lost an earring.

Store employees described him as “kind of panicky,” deputies said.

The man later admitted that he wasn’t looking for an earring. Instead, he was attempting to find a bag with something that looked like “black play dough.”

The employee bluntly replied, “you mean heroin?” deputies said. His response? “Yes, heroin.”

“No, you can’t look for heroin in my store,” the employee told the man, and he left, sheriff’s reports said.

The deputies took the bag when they arrived, and it tested positive for heroin. The suspects have never been found.

In terms of use, heroin is not nearly as popular here in Kitsap as other drugs, such as methamphetamine (if you haven’t read the Kitsap Sun’s award-winning “The Meth Toll” series, click here).

But how did the heroin likely get here?

According to Interpol, the world’s largest international police organization, heroin is grown in four main areas: Southwest and Southeast Asia, Colombia, and Mexico.

The BBC reported in 2003 that Afghanistan retook the heroin crown for the most production of the drug in the world. In their article, they said that the repressive Taliban regime, which US-led forces overthrew after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, had cut Afghanistan’s heroin production by 95 percent.

Despite the successes of implementing a freer, more Democratic Afghanistan, the country is once again producing 92 percent of the world’s “smack” as it is often called — about 582 metric tons in 2004, Interpol said.

Still, Afghanistan heroin travels most to Europe, where a third of the world’s heroin users reside. What comes to the U.S. from the country goes through East Africa, also according to Interpol.

The vast majority of the drug coming to the US comes from two places: Mexico and Colombia, of which Colombia’s accounts for most of the east coast’s supply and Mexico’s to our half of the nation.

Users who inject or smoke heroin describe the high as beginning with a “rush” of intense pleasure, and then turning into a relaxing euphoria for three to four hours.

Heroin may decline in the U.S, thanks to a new pharmaceutical painkiller on the rise — OxyContin — that delivers a similar high. Teen use of the drug is on the rise in the U.S., reports NPR.

Still, Kitsap County’s top drugs — marijuana and the aforementioned methamphetamine — are far more prevalent. Whether heroin or prescription-required OxyContin shoot up in use is yet to be seen.

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