The Alton Police Chief says he is deeply concerned by the increasing number of heroin users in the community. While the issue is being addressed through a combined effort of arrests, treatment and education, David Hayes says it continues to be a battle.

In an appearance earlier this week on Z-1570's Let's Talk, Chief Hayes said the product has resulted in what may be the most serious threat to communities in this area in his lifetime.

Hayes comments

Hayes says while the "black tar" heroin that was around in the 1970's had a small purity factor, this new wave is about 70% pure, which is incredibly dangerous and addictive. According to a recent White House Drug Control Policy report, there will be an estimated 180,000 new users this year. Telltale signs you may know a heroin user would include very small dilated eye pupils, track marks from injecting the drug, and usually a significant decrease in weight. Hayes says Wellspring Resources in Upper Alton has a fantastic drug treatment program for those seeking help.