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More Than Just Another Drug...

June 21, 2012 - Steve Schulwitz
Has anyone ever seen a quicker spreading health threat to a community than the synthetic drug problem plaguing Alpena and other communities around the nation? To many it may seem like just another new drug following in the footsteps of those before it, but unlike those prior, people couldn't walk into a local store and purchase it.

From my desk in the newsroom, I have a unique perspective on just how bad the problem has become and what some of the fallout is from its use. There is a store one block away from the newspaper, and from certain vantage points in the newsroom I can see the storefront. There are very few times when there aren't people, most younger in age, quickly running in and out of the business and jumping back into their cars. The volume of traffic this particular store now sees never occurred a year ago, and it is easy to see the increase is due to the drugs. Make no mistake about it, the owner of this store is becoming quite wealthy by selling the synthetic drugs, without as much as thinking what the ramifications for the local kids may be.

Maybe these store owners would change their tune if they could hear the amount of traffic on a police scanner regarding incidents involving the drugs. I don't remember the last time I worked where there wasn't a call to local police or ambulance involving the drugs. Many of the calls involve violence, suicide and overdose. This is a threat and it is spreading. Thank goodness for the action government has taken to combat the problem by making it illegal for businesses to sell come July 1. Is the new law the end-all in the battle against the drugs? No. Just like any other drug there will be other means available for the user to obtain them. Iit is a good start, but we all must keep the pressure on the stores and the dealers to beat this most recent threat.


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