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Drugs Seizured: $700K in One Week

It’s the trio we always hear about: drugs, money, and guns. Like a set of evil triplets, they show up together when there’s a win in the war on drugs. Last week, in a story out of Lake County, police showed the net haul from a week’s worth of seizures:

* 500+ pounds of marijuana, found in a truck on the Interstate. Estimated worth: a half million dollars.

* 4 kilos of cocaine, at a street value of $200,000.

* 8 guns, including an AK- 47, an Uzi, a .357 magnum, and several others that officers described as “very heavy firepower.” These were allegedly purchased by a mother for her kids, members of the “Get Fresh Boys,” a local gang.

While last week wasn’t a record breaker, it isn’t every week that nearly a three-quarter million bucks worth of product is taken. Still, when you think about the size of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the area they cover, it isn’t an exaggeration to suspect that nationally, the amount of drugs moving from suppliers to dealers must be astounding, easily in the billions of dollars. And of course, that only considers the drugs seized. How much more is actually getting through to end users?

Perhaps even more surprising is a recent study showing how prevalent prescription drug overdose has become. According to Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic, ”Prescription drug related deaths now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined, and drug overdose deaths exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 29 states and Washington, D.C. Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs costs the country an estimated $53.4 billion a year in lost productivity, medical costs and criminal justice costs, and currently only one in 10 Americans with a substance abuse disorder receives treatment”

Perhaps we need to take a serious look at treatments that work and throw some serious money into the demand side as well as the supply side.

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