Pubdate: Thu, 01 May 2014
Source: Wheeling News-Register (WV)
Copyright: 2014 Wheeling News Register
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Already this year, 160 methamphetamine "labs" have been found in 
Harrison County, Sheriff Joe Myers reported this week. That amounts 
to more than one illegal drug manufacturing operation for every 100 
people who live in the county.

And for every meth lab law enforcement officers find, there may be 
four to 10 others escaping detection, Myers added.

As a description of a problem that ought to worry the public, the 
word "epidemic" probably is overused. Not in this situation. Illegal 
drugs have become an epidemic in Ohio.

In addition to meth, the epidemic includes heroin, prescription 
painkillers, cocaine and synthetic versions of hallucinogens, 
including marijuana. Buckeye State residents are under siege and, 
frankly, we know of no cavalry riding to the rescue.

East Ohio residents worried about what the drug invasion is doing to 
our communities can do little to curb it. Law enforcement agencies 
work hard and courageously, frequently scoring successes. But for 
every drug manufacturer or pusher put behind bars, three or four 
others seem eager to take his place.

If the epidemic worries and, perhaps, scares you, there are a few 
steps you can take to fight back.

Start at home, of course. If you have children, explain the dangers 
of illegal drugs to them. Don't leave your own prescription 
painkillers accessible to them. If you know someone with a drug 
problem, beg him or her to get help - and do what you can to assist.

And, as Myers pointed out, the public can be eyes and ears for his 
department. If you believe illegal drug activity of any kind is going 
on around you, let the authorities know - but do not attempt to 
intervene yourself. The equipment and chemicals used in meth labs can 
be very dangerous. Don't be afraid of sending police or sheriff's 
deputies on a wild goose chase. As Myers put it, "I would rather 
drive two hours to check out a false lead than have someone hurt when 
finding one of these portable labs."

Think this is like some other concerns, that eventually, it will just 
"blow away"? Hardly.

The 160 meth labs found already this year surpass the 113 discovered 
during all of last year. If anything, the scourge is spreading.
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