A deputy sheriff in Fayette County followed up a $1.6 million drug seizure with yet another huge grab of $1.3 million in methamphetamine last month.
In a routine traffic stop, the deputy sheriff noted that the driver was exceptionally nervous, and after talking at length, he obtained permission to search the vehicle. Inside, he found four fire extinguishers, much like the ones found in an $800,000 methamphetamine drug bust in June 2015. When the fire extinguishers were cut open, about 30 pounds of methamphetamine were found with an estimated value of $1.3 million.
The driver was arrested for transporting drugs, and his vehicle as well as the meth were seized by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.
Fayette County Sheriff Lt. David Beyer, the deputy responsible for the busts, along with his K-9 partner, Lobos, has not only been successful in pulling drugs off the street before they end up in the hands of American consumers but also in seizing cash that is on its way back to Mexico. In one bust, the deputy sheriff and his K-9 partner found $428,000 stashed in secret compartments of a vehicle headed to Mexico.
Is drug interdiction helping to manage the issue of addiction in the US?
Supply and Demand
It is true that a great deal of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and other drugs have been seized on their way into the United States and that a great deal of drugs and money have also been seized in drug busts across the country. Both remove product from the streets, reducing the supply available.
But does this serve as a deterrent to drug dealers? It might to those lower on the totem pole; no one wants to be the one to get caught with such a large amount of an illegal substance since long jail sentences would be unavoidable. Ultimately, however, when one falls, others are more than willing to fill the void. Drug interdiction is certainly an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to helping people to stay safe in the United States, but it does little to impact the overall drug market, and it does not help those who are struggling with addiction to connect with treatment.
An Unanswerable Question
Drug interdiction does save lives, but it is impossible to determine the number of lives saved. How many people will not overdose this month because there wasn’t as much methamphetamine available in their town? How many people will not start using meth because there was none or very little available at a friend’s house? How many people will not get behind the wheel while under the influence and end up in a deadly car accident because their connection did not have what they needed? Though we cannot know exactly how many lives are saved by drug busts like these, we do know that they have a positive impact on rates of overdose and the overall health and wellbeing of communities across the country.
Addiction in Texas
Because Texas lies on the border of Mexico, the source of many illicit drugs in the United States, substances of all kinds are relatively easy to come by across the state. When individuals in Texas struggle with addiction, it not only impacts their personal lives but also the lives of their family members and the community at large. It is important for community organizations to band together to support these families as they seek out the best possible source of treatment for their loved ones who are living with substance use disorders. The good news is that there are a number of ways that families in Texas can take advantage of the many resources available for the treatment of addiction, including:
- Talking to the family doctor: A family physician who has long worked with a family may be a great place to start when it comes to talking about the concerns that addiction may be an issue for someone in the family. Learn more about the signs of addiction and the best ways to manage the problem.
- Working with law enforcement: It is not uncommon for someone to have interactions with police and the courts when they are dealing with illegal substances on a regular basis. Talking to these professionals can help family members learn more about the public organizations in their communities that can help all involved.
- Communicating with emergency medical professionals: Overdose and other medical emergency are high risks when someone frequently abuses drugs and alcohol. Take the opportunity to talk to your loved one’s providers and find out about next steps in treatment.
- Reaching out to nonprofit and community organizations: In every town, there are a number of options in terms of resources for people who are struggling due to addiction. From food banks to financial support to counseling and more, the resources vary, but there are options that can help people to get back on track. Social workers, case managers at social welfare agencies, and even a quick Google search can connect you with organizations that can help.
What does your family need to begin the healing process after addiction?