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Street drugs in Jefferson County more prolific and powerful
JEFFERSON COUNTY-By Jennifer Gordy
The number of drug busts in Southeast Texas appears to be rising, but there's an alarming trend that has narcotics experts more than a little concerned. Newer, stronger drugs out on the streets around town are having devastating effects to our community. Deputy Chief Ron Hobbs with the Narcotics Division of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says,
"It would be a close race but if I had to put money on it I would say that methamphetamine has kind of dislodged crack cocaine as the drug of choice around here."
In addition, Hobbs says the newer forms of synthetic street drugs are more powerful than their predecessors, "They were presented at first as a cheaper alternative to cocaine or marijuana. The result has been the synthetic productions of them are worse than the actual products. It really seems to bring on mental difficulties and psychoses very quickly."
And particularly disturbing, says Hobbs, are indications drug dealers may be targeting young people and possibly children, "Why else would you make it appear to be candy?" A drug bust in Beaumont last week uncovered Lego-shaped candy laced with the active ingredient in marijuana, THC. Hobbs says, "And we had one recently where they were taking hard candies and using a needle to inject THC into the hollow middle."
But Hobbs has seen how drug use ravages its users, saying, "Someone three or four years on methamphetamine, if they are doing it hard at the end of three or four months you'll look like you've just been liberated from Auschwitz at the end of the second world war. It physically ravages them. They don't eat. They don't sleep. The chemicals they'll develop big sores all over their arms and legs. It rots their teeth and turns them black and they fall out." Physical destruction caused by drugs reaching far beyond the user and into the community.
Hobbs says, "I get so weary of people talking about drug use being a victimless crime because nothing could be further from the truth."
For information about seeking treatment for substance abuse, call the South East Texas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse at 409-842-2408.