PUEBLO, Colo. - Pueblo police said 2014 could be a record-setting year if heroin use continues to climb.
So far this year, officers have seized 76 grams of heroin, nearly three times the amount of heroin they took off the streets in all of 2012. In 2013, police confiscated 348 grams of heroin.
"Each year, it's picked up more and more," said deputy chief Andy McLachlan.
During one bust this year, officers seized 54.3 grams of heroin valued at $5,430. "We're on track to exceed 2013 if our seizures stay up the rate they are just in the first two months," McLachlan said.
KRDO-TV spoke with a recovering heroin user who is being referred to as Catherine. She said it's becoming easier to find heroin in Pueblo.
"It's such a strong drug that, like, it's so easy to just fall in love with it but then it's your own worst enemy cause you get so sick," Catherine said. "You feel like you need it to survive because withdrawals feel like you just want to be dead."
Catherine paid for her last fix a week ago by having sex with her drug dealer.
"It's kind of like you have no morals, I guess. Self respect for yourself. It's degrading," she said.
Catherine lost a friend to a heroin overdose last week and said she doesn't want to be next. She's staying at the Wayside Cross Gospel Rescue Mission and says she's turning to God for help. She's been clean for a little over a week. "Another day clean is another day won," she said.
While police say the surge in heroin use is alarming, it won't be ending soon. McLachlan said as prescription pills become harder to come by, he says heroin is getting cheaper and easier to find.
Pueblo police have arrested more than 75 people since 2012 for possessing and selling heroin.