Heroin cases surge in Malheur County

ONTARIO – Local police say they are seeing more cases of heroin in a troubling signal the nation’s opiate epidemic is touching Malheur County.

“It’s been coming along for about a year. It’s coming in from all over,” said Sgt. Bob Speelman of the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, who leads the region’s High Desert Drug Task Force.

Mike Stensrud, the Oregon Health Authority’s prescription drug overdose prevention coordinator for eastern Oregon, agreed. 

Stensrud oversees a four-county region – including Malheur County – in eastern Oregon.

“It is going to get a lot worse in eastern Oregon before it gets better,” said Stensrud.

Stensrud said there is also evidence that the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl – often mixed, or “cut” with heroin – is in use across the region. 

Stensrud said since . . .