MIDLAND, Texas — It's no secret how dangerous heroin is to even the recreational user, and yet a report from the National Institute of Drug Use report that about 948,000 people used heroin in 2016.

The opioid can be injected, snorted or smoked, depending on what form it's in. 

In Midland County, officials like District Attorney Laura Nodolf are concerned with more forms available within the county.

"We are starting to see a spike in our heroin cases; it is running the gamut all the way from black tar to some of its purest forms," said Nodolf.

Inside the Midland Police Department's evidence room, Deputy Chief Jerad Fain showed us what officers are up against in their battle against heroin. 

Heroin seized by Midland Police department
Newswest 9

"This is approximately a half ounce of black tar heroin," said Fain, referencing the black tar heroin seized that is pictured above.

On the street a half ounce of heroin could have a value up to $5,000, a seizure that often is taken from dealer level players.

"So that's up to 20 years in prison for that amount," said Fain.

Laura Nodolf says the spike in heroin availability is often times a double-edged sword for users.

"The problem is when you have heroin in a pure quantity then they keep cutting and cutting it and that's why it makes it so cheap ultimately," Nodolf.

As for Deputy Chief Fain, he says some recreational drug users can successfully live professional lives.

"Here in west Texas in particular they work hard and they play hard, so there's gonna be a rise in drug use with the increase in population here," said Fain.

Fain wants resident to know that personal use will not be a "valid excuse" if they're caught committing a crime.

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