If you follow the news like many of us do you may have noticed a trend over the last decade or two. States are relaxing certain drug laws and even legalizing some substances that were criminal just a few short years ago.
I have had people ask me my views on the subject and if drug possession is actually a “victimless crime”. The argument is based on the fact that those who abuse drugs are only hurting themselves. I will be the first to admit that there are compelling cases to be made for taking a look at how we handle the scourge of drug addiction in our society, and anyone who has worked with or around the problem will tell you that there are no easy answers.
While what people typically see when they think of a “junkie” is a guy or gal who appears emaciated due to their indulgence in what can only be described as poison, the reality is that just like when you throw a pebble in a pond, drug addiction sends ripples through a community that requires attention from police, counselors, social workers and a wide variety of other support staff who work to repair the damage that occurs.
By stepping back and looking at the larger picture, it becomes quite clear that where drug addiction exists, so do elevated levels of property crimes. Addicts often steal whatever they can find, they then sell or trade those items and continue to feed their addiction demon. In fact it is almost unheard of to find a drug addict with a criminal record for possession that does not also have some type of property crime charges haunting him or her. Add to that, statistically speaking, where drugs are used and abused domestic violence levels rise accordingly. It’s a vicious cycle that often starts, and unfortunately often ends with someone’s dependence on illicit narcotics.
Once you dive into the subject, the outlook can appear pretty bleak. While it often seems that this war is one in which there are no victories that is far from the case. Right here, in Atascosa County, I am acquainted with several individuals whom I first encountered due to the vicious hold drugs had on them. With hard work and the ability to focus on the big picture they are now drug free and living successful lives right here in Jourdanton, Pleasanton and surrounding areas.
If you or someone you know struggles with drug addiction, there is hope. Victory is an option. To see what services are out there check out the work that the great folks at The San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse are doing every day. You can reach them at www.sacada.org.
For those who genuinely want to break out of the trap that illegal drugs have them in, we want to see that happen. But for those that want to victimize our citizens and introduce their illegal goods to our children, know that officers, deputies and troopers all over our county will diligently continue working to hold you accountable.
Thanks to our citizens who work as our eyes and ears in the community and for the work you do to help us keep our part of Texas, the best part of Texas. Until next time, Chief Eric Kaiser
ERIC KAISER is the Chief of Police for the Jourdanton, Texas Police Department and a Master Texas Peace Officer.