Opioid abuse continues to be a problem nationwide but according to officials, the use of cocaine, meth and synthetic drugs are rising in popularity.
“The reality is we have a bad meth problem, a bad marijuana problem, a bad cocaine problem,” said Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill. “We have substances that are all problematic. Opioids jumped out in front because people are dying as a result of overdose.”
Hill met with members of the Allen County Opioid task force to discuss the crisis, Tuesday morning.
According to Capt. Kevin Hunter, of the Fort Wayne Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Division, there were reportedly 1,200 non-fatal overdoses in 2017. There were 804 the year before.
Law enforcement is working aggressively to get drugs off the streets, while health officials will encourage those suffering from addiction to get help.
“We are trying to keep those drugs from coming into our city,” said Hunter. “We’re certainly trying to do as many raids as I can.”
“One of our objectives is to encourage people to get off these substances and seek assistance and there’s a great deal of people in this community willing to help,” he said.
The possibility of legalizing marijuana remains a controversial issue. Members of the drug task force are trying to get in front of it.
“While I can’t say that everyone who has engaged in marijuana use will go on to get involved in meth, heroine, cocaine and other drugs, I can say the people who are engaged in those other substances, many got their start on marijuana,” said Hill.