The Weekly Briefing – Drug Abuse Rising Pt. 2

Will you make a difference in the fight against drug abuse?

by John Vogt

Click here to watch Part 1 of this feature.

Law enforcement is out there everyday combating unlawful drug activity in Tioga County. The District Attorney’s office, along with other supporting agencies, have decided to make community outreach a key part of this battle. This is where you come in. Yes, you can make a huge difference in the effort to defeat drug abuse in our community.

Chief Jim Bodine of the Wellsboro Police Department welcomes the opportunity to speak to organizations, concerned citizens meetings, school gatherings, area church groups and home schoolers. The Chief feels that the more the department addresses these drug issues the better prepared and equipped our citizens are to help combat the problems. Wellsboro Home Page encourages your organization to invite our Police Department to come and speak.

In the background our Police Department buys a lot of drugs. This undercover effort has proved to be a very effective tool in helping to slow down the drug abuse problem in our area. Some dealers won’t even come into Wellsboro these days because of this strategy. But, drugs are still getting into our community with buys made outside of the area and then brought in for use. Some of these abuses have proved to be deadly. After undercover drug buys, education seems to be the next best effort in combating area drug problems. When citizens are alert, know what to look for, and are willing to take action by contacting law enforcement much of this abuse can be stopped. People struggling with addiction can then get the needed help.

Drugs come into our community from a variety of places but substances like heroine primarily move North from Williamsport, PA. Drugs have also been tracked as coming in from Philadelphia and Reading, PA. But, the primary source for heroine is from Williamsport. Cocaine has been traced as coming in from places North of us like Rochester and Elmira, NY. Law enforcement agencies in our region have been working together to combat the problems. Intelligence is shared and strategies are created to intensify the battle against illegal drug activity.

What can you do? George Wheeler says that you need to be alert and aware of what is going on around you regarding this problem. You need to stay close to loved ones and be a part of their lives. When you see changes in a loved one’s behavior, ask questions. Again, be alert. Know who their friends are and what they are up to. Look for changes in attitude or behavior. Any kind of small theft would be a red flag. Maybe you see a loved one shedding items of personal property. Why are they doing that? In many cases those items become part of a drug deal. Law enforcement is here to help solve the problem. There are times when people decide not to get involved because of the drama or maybe from their perspective they don’t want to get a loved one in trouble. But, these problems will not just go away on their own. Former drug abusers will tell you that the best thing that ever happened to them was when they were forced to face their problem. Unfortunately, for thousands of people in our country their drug problems end when they stop breathing.

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