Local law enforcement say prescription drug abuse continues to climb in the county, which means that crime rates could also go up. In a two part report, Shawn Cunningham talks to those working in the trenches fighting the war on drugs. She finds out what THEY SAY needs to happen to win some important battles.
Justin Guerrette comes to the Mark and Emily Turner Library everyday to study. Guerrette wants to someday become a counselor and help abused children. But he says another big threat to kids in the community are drugs.
“I’ve seen it done around town and its something we really don’t need,” says Guerrette.
And while illicit drugs on the streets like bath salts and meth continue to be a problem, its what’s in the HOME that’s more of an abuse issue. Presque Isle Police Chief Matt Irwin says PRESCRIPTION DRUGS rank number one in crime problems. He says Maine has been number one in the National Take Back Drug Initiative, a good thing in that people are turning in their prescription drugs..But there’s a seedy flipside.
“When it comes down to the actual tonage of drugs that are taken back we lead all the time and that becomes a problem when a family member passes away and a drug addicted nepheww gets in and steals the morphine that the cancer patient was using, or the dalata that the cancer patients was using or the oxycontin and it doesn’t have to be someone who passes away I mean kids are stealing parents, grandparents drugs all the time,” says Chief Irwin.
Chief Michael Gahagan of the Caribou Police Department adds “first year great number one, second year great number one….fifth year maybe its not so great anymore, why are we still number one.”
Gahagan says its important the community step up to report incidences to law enforcement. Its even more important to help law enforcement and follow through to prosecution.
Gahagan adds “people assume that all law enforcement know about that house down the street they all see what’s going on we we may know about but it may be that little incident that they see that actually gives us the evidence to go forward with prosecution.
And he says enforcement is one issue, but have ample resources for addiction treatment is a whole other side.