District Attorney George Wheeler reports alarming drug & alcohol issues.
Today’s feature is the first of a two-part edition of the Weekly Briefing with special guest George Wheeler, Tioga County’s District Attorney.
According to George Wheeler, drugs and alcohol are still a major problem in Tioga County. “Right now the No. 1 issue, as it has been for a period of time, drug-wise, is alcohol.” said Wheeler. “Alcohol drives a substantial number of our crimes. As far as immediate consequences and what many people would consider drugs/illegal substances – heroin and the opiates are the big problem right now.”
A number of overdose deaths and other serious consequences have occurred due to opiate addiction. Chief Bodine also noted that the number of drug-related incidents has slowly been rising. “We’re seeing the opiates and the heorin – the heavier drugs come into play. It’s very concerning.”
Abuse of prescription drugs is another alarming development. These drugs, particularly pain medications, often become “gateway drugs” that lead to the use of other opiates. They’re very addictive and often viewed by a lot of people as a safe drug because it comes from the pharmacy.
“We’re working very hard to combat these issues,” said Wheeler. “[Drug abuse] has a huge impact on the community. It’s not just the person using the drugs – the family around them sometimes become victims of theft, credit card & check frauds, businesses in the community are impacted by the thefts committed to support these habits. And obviously there is the loss of human life. That is the ultimate tragedy.”
Next week’s edition of the Weekly Briefing will cover the methods of combating these drug issues and how you can be involved.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and need help, please talk to someone you trust – a family member, your pastor, a close friend – and contact Harbor Counseling at 570-724-5272.