Tennessee authorities expect surge in heroin use

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee law enforcement agents are bracing for a resurgence of heroin use as prescription pill abusers turn to the drug, fueled by the need for a low-cost alternative. Police say the cheap heroin is being aggressively marketed by dealers from Mexico who sell one dose for as little as $10.

Authorities say that price is far less than the street value of an illegal prescription pill, which can cost anywhere from $30 to $80.

Records from an ongoing heroin case in federal court in Nashville shows just how easy it is for users to gain access to the drug. According to guilty pleas in the case, the dealers operated a delivery service that would bring the drug to customers in parking lots and shopping malls.

Authorities say many of the new heroin users are young people.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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