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Recovering addict applauds massive heroin bust

By Richard Piatt | Posted - Jul 19th, 2013 @ 8:40pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman recovering from heroin addiction is among those applauding a massive drug bust that led to the seizure of 90 pounds of heroin.

In the aftermath of the bust that led to the arrest of 17 people, Bobbi Gates has a strong opinion on heroin. She is dealing with nagging pain from a club foot that drove her to addiction.

"Heroin is an ugly addiction, and it is a shame that they're willing to so readily push it on anybody," Gates said. "It's the most horrible thing I've ever experienced."

Those arrested Thursday are accused of pushing heroin onto the street. Federal agents said all 17 people have ties to a Mexican drug cartel. They're part of what police are calling the largest single heroin bust in Utah.

With 90 pounds of heroin now out of circulation, those who struggle with that addiction say they hope it will change how readily available it can be in Salt Lake City.

"It is extremely small amounts that people are purchasing on a regular basis," said Jim Winder, Salt Lake County Sheriff. "We're talking hundreds of thousands of individual doses. They're targeting indiscriminately and targeting a very significant habit here on the Wasatch Front."

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At the Odyssey House, treatment programs are constantly busy; as many as 30 percent of adults seeking treatment now dealing with opiate addiction at the facility.

"It's astounding how many people we're seeing who are addicted to heroin and other opiates," said Christina Zidow with the Odyssey House.

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