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Local drug problem can affect all of us

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By Jeff Moore

 We know there is a drug problem in Carroll County. We see the charges lodged against local residents week after week in the newspaper’s stories and public records.

It’s so commonplace we might take it for granted. We shouldn’t.

A couple of experiences Sunday got me thinking about how different the outcomes could have been.

The first was on a trip to Madison, Ind., in the early afternoon to run an errand. As I made my way down Hwy. 36 toward Milton, I came up behind a car that could not stay in its lane.

The compact car kept crossing the middle line, swerving back and forth, sometimes getting over on the other side just as another vehicle was in the other lane.

My wife, Joan, and I both quickly deduced that this driver had to be impaired. We figured drugs, but it could have been alcohol.

I slowed my travel to give a good amount of distance between us and this car in the event it did cross the line at the wrong moment and hit an oncoming vehicle.

We were lucky this time. I know you have read stories about others who weren’t.

The second came later in the evening when Joan and I went for our evening walk.

We were making our way up Fifth Street and reached Carroll County Middle School. That’s where I noticed a used syringe lying on the ground. Yes, it was right there on the sidewalk.

I nudged it to the side with the toe of my shoe, but I did not want to touch it. I feared it could have been used by someone with a disease that could be transmitted.

I called Carrollton Police Department and asked if I should do anything. They advised me to leave it and an officer would come by and remove it for proper disposal.

Why would someone leave a syringe laying on the ground next to a school?

I knew better than to pick it up. But a youngster might not. A child may not realize that it could carry diseases such as hepatitis or even HIV.

The drug abuse that others in our community participate in on a daily basis does affect all of us. These are just a couple of examples of how others’ actions can impact us.

A report issued by the U.S. Department of Justice says drug use undermines these individuals’ health, economic well-being and social responsibility. This in turn affects everyone.

“It is hard to stay in school, hold onto a job or care for a child when one is spending all of one’s money and attention on getting stoned,” the report entitled “The Police and Drugs” states. “The families and friends of drug users are also undermined as their resources are strained by obligations to care for the drug user or to assume responsibilities that the drug user has abandoned.”

Let’s all do our part to work to end the drug scourge in Carroll County.

Both the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and the Carrollton Police Department have anonymous tip pages on their websites. If you’re not comfortable giving your name, go online and report what you see to help.

The other key element is supporting Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County. Through this group’s educational programs in the schools, we can teach our youngsters the dangers of illegal drug use.

Jeff Moore is publisher of The News-Democrat and The Trimble Banner. He resides in Carrollton.