Catawba County Opium Poppy Plant Bust
A local Fox 8 news article just revealed that Catawba County law enforcement authorities have uncovered a large poppy plant operation. Poppy plants are used to create opium which in turn is used to make heroin.
The poppy plants had an estimated value of $500 million. State Bureau of Investigation authorities and local deputies wore special protective clothing as they worked to uproot hundreds of the plants located on the property. A Cody Xiong was arrested for manufacture and trafficking as reported by WBTV.
North Carolina has experienced a growing opioid overdose epidemic in recent years as the use of fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioids like oxycodone have steadily increased. Heroin, in particular, has seen a resurgence due to its accessibility and relative cheap cost when compared to illegally buying prescription opiates on the street.
The Fox 8 story illustrates that there are people willing to take huge risks to supply illegal drugs to addicted people in our communities. The use of these drugs has led to unprecedented fatalities across the United States. Fortunately, medications like naloxone (which reverses the effects of opioid overdose) are becoming more readily available throughout the country.
We applaud the collective efforts of local sheriff’s departments and police authorities to tackle this pressing problem head on.