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Heroin a Growing Problem

Written By Editor on 10/7/13 | 10/7/13

The rise of opiates across the United States has rocked the law enforcement community. Once relegated to the worst parts of large cities, heroin and similar poppy-based drugs have opened a door into even the smallest of towns. Unfortunately, the problem has increased significantly in Schoharie County, as across the country, over the last five years.

Many of these forces are due to problems outside of the control of local law enforcement. Lax bag checks on Amtrak allow funneling through Utica and Amsterdam, Mexico's drug war has made harder drugs more profitable, and cultural shifts have contributed to the problem. Upstate New York, with its mix of cities and rural environments and poor local economy, has been particularly hard hit. Even last month came five arrests on serious drug charges, including heroin in Amsterdam.

In 2013 alone, we've seen two major arrests of County residents over the drug-- one arrest of four in Cobleskill and one arrest of two in Princetown.

One of the strongest defenses against the tide of opiates into the County could be the Schoharie County Sheriff's office. While the Sheriff has made major strides in campaigns against methamphetamines and cannabis, heroin has exploded. The Sheriff's Department reacted to the growing heroin problem in 2013 with a special confidential tip line. Still, this comes years after the problem has become acute and noticeable.

In an interview last year with the Mountain Eagle, Sheriff Desmond indicated that the problem was here to stay and that the problem began at home. He suggested that parents keep drug cabinets locked up and that residents keep an eye out for suspicious activity:
“One of the big things that you see are several people stopping for a short period of time at a house or apartment, coming and going,” said Desmond. “That is usually a good indication of some activity.”
While there is nothing functionally wrong with this approach, it remained primarily reactive and to date no major anti-heroin initiative has been rolled out by the Sheriff's Department.

Still, the County has recorded more drug arrests in the past year. Overall, since the beginning of Desmond's administration, there have been 63 felony and 121 misdemeanor drug arrests as compared to the previous three years having 31 and 75 respectively. These numbers include all arrests in the County-- by the Sheriff's Department, State Police, and local forces.

Indeed, a bright spot has taken place in the Village of Cobleskill. The community has stepped up enforcement and is responsible for the largest bust this year. Police chief Larry Travis has shown acumen in his attention to the problem and has shown results. From the middle of 2012 until early 2013 the Village of Cobleskill made six heroin busts.

Chief Travis told the Cobleskill paper in February of this year that it's a problem that's growing:

"The ease of obtaining the drug, the cost of it indicate it's increasing," he said.

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1 comments:

Administrator said...

The war on drugs is nearly 100-years old and failing.

"Deaths involving prescription pills have quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, according to a report released Monday by Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit organization in Washington that studies health policy. About 6.1 million people abuse prescription pills, and overdose deaths have at least doubled in 29 states, where they now exceed vehicle-related deaths. In 10 of those states, rates tripled; in four of them, they quadrupled."

Source: Raw Story - Prescription drug abuse now more deadly than heroin and cocaine combined - http://tinyurl.com/kyjmtuv

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