Lexington's Illegal Drug Habit Estimated at $1.5 - $2 Million per Week
Lexington Police Lieutenant Scott Blakely says the central Kentucky community is home to a one and a half to two million dollar weekly drug habit. While heroin-related overdose deaths are on a decline, the narcotics officer says crack cocaine use is on an uptick. Blakely says cocaine and heroin sales take place all over Lexington. "It is available from downtown to Heartland, from downtown to Beaumont. With heroin, it was everywhere. It's not just centered to downtown and neither is the cocaine and it never has been in Lexington," said Blakely.
When considering cocaine use in Lexington, Blakely says the middle and upper income users drive the market. He says there's less heroin available in Lexington and users are going to other larger cities for the drug. Blakely says 80 to 90 percent of those being treated at area drug centers are heroin addicts.
The veteran officer says the cost of any drug transaction extends beyond the individual user. "Now we have a huge problem of people not paying child support, but think about the money that could be applied to child support. Think about the money that you could be drawing taxes on as a society to help carry the burden of running the government or whatever. That's all untaxed expendable funds," said Blakely.
Blakely says there are direct connections to Central American drug cartels operating in Lexington today.