Pubdate: Sat, 10 Jan 2015
Source: Albany Herald, The (GA)
Copyright: 2015 The Albany Herald Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Jim West


ALBANY - Neighborhood watch representatives got a basic education on
illegal drugs, their effects and where they come from Saturday at the
Community Room of the Albany downtown Law Enforcement Center.

The short course delivered by Maj. Bill Berry, of the Albany-Dougherty
Drug Unit gave eager members of the Community Council of Watch
Associations an earful of information on familiar drugs including
ecstasy or "Molly," crack cocaine and prescription pain pills.

But they learned about some new threats too, including yaba (a blend
of caffeine and methamphetamine), powdered alcohol, synthetic
marijuana and even "Krokodil," a drug so devastating it destroys skin
and muscle tissue from the inside out.

Heroin, the popular scourge from decades past has made a comeback,
Berry said, with a purity like never before combined with prices so
competitive that it's driving pain pills and prescription drugs out of

Methamphetamine, or "meth," also is more popular, Berry said, and is
seen in area drug busts three times more often than crack cocaine, the
former leader. According to Berry, meth dealers of the past often
"cooked" their own products in small private laboratories, which were
prone to explode.

The majority of meth on the street today is "fronted" to the dealers -
supplied without initial payment to the Mexican cartel - so the drug
is plentiful, of a higher quality with more available to sell, Berry

While not yet prevalent in Southwest Georgia, a new and briefly legal
drug that worries Berry is Palcohol, or powered alcohol. Water is
added to the powder produce the equivalent of a mixed drink in a
"juice" type foil container, Berry said.

"The product could be abused by anyone," Berry said, "but particularly
our youth. What happens if just to get a bigger high, someone adds
alcohol to the mix instead of water, or if someone is dared to just
'snort' the powder? That can't be good."

The Community Council of Watch Associations is an umbrella group
meeting quarterly with representatives of neighborhood watch
organizations throughout Albany and Dougherty County. Judy Bowles, who
acts as a liaison between city government and the group, said the
organization's goal is to gather watch groups from every neighborhood
in the city and county.

"This larger group invites all types of relevant speakers," Bowles
said, "so the neighborhood members and representatives can attend and
deliver that information to their home groups, or even invite the speakers."

Group president Chuck Mitchell said the whole purpose of having
neighborhood watch groups is to keep the neighborhoods safe and free
of crime.

"I want to get this out to the people of Albany that they can make a
difference," Mitchell said. "You can make this city - your city - the
Good Life City once again."

For more information on free membership in the Community Council of
Watch Associations or for help in forming a neighborhood watch, call
Judy Bowles at Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful, (229) 430-5257. 
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