People who track drug abuse in the metro area say heroin use is so prevalent that it's rivaling the methamphetamine problem of several years ago.
"We've had seven deaths in the city of Hudson in the last three years," said Hudson, Wis., Police Sgt. Geoff Willems. "The vast majority of people don't realize that this is a problem."
Willems will speak about heroin use at a public forum Thursday, 6:30 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church in Hudson.
People need to be aware that potent, highly pure heroin is readily available for abuse. Many of the people who begin using heroin were first addicted to opiate pain pills, Willems added.
"Quite frankly, especially with drugs and all crime really, if you don't know about it then it's not a problem," he said. "So the perception in this community is that there is no drug problem."