Police worried about increased heroin use in Iceland

News of increased violence in the drug world of Iceland and an increase in young people dying of an overdose have been prominent in the last few days. Yesterday, Morgunblaðið reported that this year so far, more people under the age of 39 had died than the entire last year. Deaths in this age group of people who had gone to rehab at SÁÁ have increased enormously in the last three years. 

Chief of Police Karl Steinar Valsson says speaking to Mbl.is that police have not noticed an increase in suicides or that they have received reports of threatening letters by debt collectors such as reported in Morgunblaðið. "It is possible that these cases simply are not reported to us, we can't rule that out," he says. 

Valsson says that there is good reason to worry about increased drug use in Iceland. "There's been increased access to certain medications for example. The development in the US is that the step is taken towards heroin as an example. It's something we haven't seen but it's a worry to other European nations and we should be worried too. Until now we have not had reason to worry about heroin use as there wasn't a group of users, but with a group of users that are using opiates there's already a base for heroin users. There are signs of massive heroin production in Afghanistan and other countries and I believe that we are facing a challenge in this area." 

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