The head of southwest Montana's Missouri River Drug Task Force says heroin use is on the rise.
Lt. Jake Wagner says the increase is because changing prescription drug formulas are harder to melt down and shoot up. Their chemical properties make them difficult to redesign.
"With the changes the composition of those pills, now make it harder," Wagner explained.
According to Wagner, in the past drug users could crush up prescription pain medication, melt it down and inject it into their bodies.
"The abuser is not able to melt that pill and get it into a syringe for an injection," he explained.
Wagner told NBC Montana there is a direct relationship between pharmaceutical abuse and heroin -- more users are turning to heroin as they run out of other options.
"It's a trend they've seen over the past two years around the nation," said Wagner.
Wagner told us heroin investigations are handled the same as any other drug investigation. He said his team works closely with other drug task forces across Montana.