With the drug problem in the United States at an all time high, Logan County is not sheltered from the effects as illegal drugs are making their way into small towns across the country and are claiming members in our communities. An increase in crime is also apparent as those who are addicted must feed their habits by getting money anyway they can.
Law enforcement agencies are work diligently battling illegal drugs on a daily basis, putting out one fire to just find another around the corner. In the months of June and July there were 37 burglaries and 84 thefts in Logan County. According to Jacky Hunt, Director of the South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force, those crimes are most likely drug related.
From June 1 through Aug. 22, 2016, the task force opened numerous cases involving drugs. There were 28 for drug paraphernalia, six for marijuana, 18 for methamphetamine, 21 for cocaine, one for heroin, seven for prescription drugs, and four for other drugs.
The task force covers Logan and Simpson Counties and the cities of Russellville and Franklin.
According to Hunt, prescription drugs and crystal methamphetamine are the number one drug problems in Logan County right now. Although there is still a presence of local methamphetamine manufacturing, most of the crystal methamphetamine is coming out of Mexico.
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, methamphetamine is the most rapidly emerging threat to Kentucky, particularly in the rural areas of the state. The level of methamphetamine production, distribution, abuse, and violence has increased dramatically and is spreading across the state from west to east. Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters and wholesale distributors of Mexico-produced methamphetamine and methamphetamine produced in California and southwestern states.
Methamphetamine is attracting a new user population in Kentucky. Once regarded as an adult drug, methamphetamine is increasingly popular among adolescents because of the heightened physical and mental effects it produces. Methamphetamine can be taken orally, snorted, smoked, or injected.
The physical and psychological effects of methamphetamine abuse are profound. Methamphetamine’s stimulant effects can last for hours compared with minutes-long effects of crack cocaine. Often, the methamphetamine abuser remains awake for days, and as the high begins to wear off, the individual enters the tweaking stage and is prone to violence, delusions, and paranoia. Many methamphetamine abusers try to mediate the effects of the methamphetamine “crash” with other drugs such as cocaine or heroin.
First District Magistrate Dickie Carter has been concerned about drug use in Logan County for some time now. He has been very vocal during the fiscal court meetings about the increase of drugs in our community.
“We need to do something to stop this,” said Carter. “This is why our jails are so full. I don’t know the answers, but we all need to be thinking about what could be done.”
Logan County Sheriff Wallace Whittaker agrees with Carter, however, he says his department is doing all it can to fight illegal drug use.
“If someone has any ideas we haven’t already tried I am all ears,” said Whittaker. “I know it’s bad out there and our deputies deal with it every day.”
According to Carter 90 percent of those incarcerated in Logan County are from drug related crimes.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.