HOUSTON (FOX 26) — The raid that left five Houston police narcotic officers injured on Monday stemmed from an investigation of suspected black tar heroin dealers.
As part of the ongoing opioid epidemic, heroin has made a comeback.
Agents at the Drug Enforcement Administration office in Houston are not surprised that heroin was at the center of the Houston Police Department drug bust.
With the national crackdown on pharmaceutical opioid abuse, heroin has resurfaced as a cheap, illicit substitute.
In Texas and most parts of the U.S. west of the Mississippi River, it comes in the form of black tar heroin, a black, sticky, impure high that's far riskier than the pills it replaces.
"In the last five years, we've seen significant increases of heroin coming through Houston," says Will Glaspy, Special Agent in Charge of the Houston DEA office. "91 percent of the heroin that we see in the United States in manufactured in Mexico."
At rehabilitation centers, like The Right Step in Houston, there is no shortage of patients with opioid addictions. A spokesman for the center says heroin has resurfaced as a drug of choice to feed those needs and sobriety can take a lifetime of effort.
"It's a dangerous illness and you need help to get stable and get sober," says The Right Step executive director Chris Davis.