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More or Less Meth?

We just got a report that summarizes the progress and regress in the war on drugs here in Iowa. Overall, it’s not very good news.

Prescription drug abuse has become a major problem, with 62 people dying last year due to overdoses. Compared to ten years ago, that’s eight times as many.

The report said that crimes involving heroin and marijuana and prescription drugs have increased as well. The only piece of news that sounded encouraging was that there was progress in reducing the number of methamphetamine labs, the use of synthetic drugs and the number of alcohol-related offenses.

That’s good news about the lower amount of meth. However, two other articles appearing during the same time period told of meth busts that were just made.

In Marshalltown a drug task force found about ten pounds of meth in a hotel room and they arrested two men: a 68-year-old and a 41-year-old. Listing the ages helps us to realize that this is not a youth-run enterprise. This ten pound package of meth sould have been worth about $476,000 on the street; that’s an awful lot of money. Along with the drugs, the police seized documents, a truck, and over $4,000 in cash. They are charged with possession and intent to deliver among other offenses.

And over in Storm Lake, sixteen people were charged with possession and some with intent to deliver marijuana, methamphetamine, and illegal prescription drugs. Some were charged with felonies, and others with misdemeanors.

So while it’s encouraging to read a statistic that says that “sales are down” in this area, it loses its impact when followed immediately by stories that remind us that the problem is still very much with us.

And what will the arrests lead to? More imprisonment? Or will the people be enabled to rehabilitate by programs such as drug courts and state-mandated treatment plans? It’s a cat-and-mouse chase until we devise a way to actually help or stop those who are the perpetrators.

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