John Forgay: Meth: A local law enforcement perspective

Editor's note: Throughout the week, the Craig Daily Press will be publishing short pieces from people participating in Communities Overcoming Methamphetamine Abuse. The pieces are designed to raise awareness about "Not Even Once Week," anti-meth educational outreach campaign that runs Oct. 26 through 29 in Craig.

The distribution and use of methamphetamine has overwhelmed communities across the country.

Craig has not escaped the damage.

This is not an individual problem confined to users.

The meth problem has had an impact on many levels: legal, environmental, social, and medical, to name a few.

Local resources are strained as agencies try to deal with the impact of this epidemic, through increased workloads in investigations and arrests, prosecution, probation services, treatment services and other services that work with families affected by this drug.

Law enforcement in Craig has seen the relationship between meth use and other crimes in our city.

Clearly, burglaries, theft, and theft from vehicles can be linked, in this relationship, as a means of obtaining access to funds to support this abuse. Likewise, there has been a correlation found in assaults and domestic violence cases and the use/abuse of this drug.

In one national study, meth use can be linked to child abuse and neglect, with a new term coming to light, "meth orphans."

A major concern to local law enforcement, and across the nation, has been the creation of a higher safety risk to officers because of the tendency of users to become more violent and extremely paranoid in their behavior.

As a result, officers are seeing more weapons, specifically firearms, involved in the abuse of meth.

Craig has not been spared from this epidemic, on any level, and it is important that the community is educated about this problem. That is why the Craig Police Department is involved with and supports the efforts of Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse.

- Submitted by John Forgay, of the Craig Police Department

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