AMES, Iowa- A new study finds synthetic opioids, like heroin and fentanyl are gradually gaining a stronger foothold in Iowa.
David Peters is an Associate Professor of Rural Sociology at Iowa State University. He's one of several researchers involved in a multi-year study , funded by the USDA, looking into opioid trends and issues related to synthetic opoids. He says there are several counties and communities where there are prescription drug addiction issues. He says the concern is that could create opportunity for illegal drugs.
Peters says there are more problems with synthetic opioids in eastern Iowa right now. He says that's because of proximity to Chicago drug dealers, tied to Mexican drug cartels. He says there's a region between St Louis, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois where there are high heroin death rates, connected to criminal drug organizations.
He says dealers also try to target cities with a lot of manufacturing workers, hoping to find some who have been injured on the job, and desperate for pain killers.