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Don’t have a problem with meth?

Think again — it affects all of us

It might be easy to think that someone else’s drug problem — is just that — someone else’s problem. But it’s not. It’s all of ours.

Take the time to read the “Where I Stand” penned by Plumas County District Attorney David Hollister that is printed on the facing page. It confirms what we have seen being played out in the Sheriff’s Blotter each week — methamphetamine usage is increasing as well as all of the crimes related to it.

We suppose it’s to be expected that property crimes would be on the rise as individuals seek ways to fund their habit, but one of the most alarming increases pertains to crimes that can be attributed to psychosis related to methamphetamine and other drug use. People in that state are a danger to themselves and anyone who might cross their path. This is particularly dangerous for our first responders, health care personnel and law enforcement. But no one is immune. Family, friends and complete strangers can also become targets.

Hollister lists some recent examples of psychotic episodes. He shared that “In the last five years, homicide prosecutions have demonstrated no less than six people in Plumas County have lost their lives at the hands of an assailant under the influence of methamphetamine or a similar drug.”

During a recent conversation, former Sheriff Greg Hagwood described how individuals experiencing psychosis can be aggressive and abnormally strong, making them difficult to subdue.

In Hollister’s piece he talks about the two-prong approach to tackling this problem — addressing both the supply and the demand. Recent legislation has made it more difficult to bring a hammer down on the supplier; but he said that his office will continue to aggressively prosecute methamphetamine sellers. There also must be a focus on the user. “All of our efforts to attack the supply-side of the equation are meaningless if we are unable to curb the demand for methamphetamine. We must also embrace the rehabilitation of low-level drug offenders on probation with the same fervor with which we pursue violations.”

There are a number of programs that have demonstrated success and Hollister said that with the help of all law enforcement partners, as well as with the county departments such as Behavioral Health, and private organizations, he is optimistic that systemic change can be made. He doesn’t want to see this escalation in meth use and related crimes to become Plumas County’s “new normal.” Nor do we. An important first step is realizing that methamphetamine use is everyone’s problem.

League is hosting forums

It’s our job to make the time to attend them

The Plumas County League of Women Voters has scheduled three forums — one each in Supervisorial Districts 1, 2 and 4 — as an opportunity for voters to hear directly from the candidates. The dates, times and locations are included in the front section of this newspaper. Feather Publishing will provide coverage of each of the forums, but we encourage the public, particularly those living in a district that’s up for election, to attend the forums.

League members put a lot of effort into holding the forums and the candidates are all working to get your vote. Recognize both by giving the time to attend.

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