Living Democracy

Drug Abuse Creates Wicked Problem for Small Towns

Brandon Boswell, Pharmacist at Collinsville DrugsHow many people know what their neighbors do? What their neighbor’s names are? Do they even know what their neighbors looks like?

In a small town like Collinsville with less than 2,000 residents, most people usually know who their neighbors are, what family they belong to, where they work, what church they attend, what cars they drive, and sometimes a lot more.

People who know their neighbors never expect them to be doing anything they shouldn’t be doing. However, when it comes to the homes that are farther away from downtown and spread out by farmland and mountains, it becomes harder to know what everyone is up to.

On May 5, the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Payne Police Department, FBI, and other state and local law enforcement officers arrested four people in a yearlong drug investigation. These arrests happened at a mobile home park here in Collinsville on County Road 51.

Almost $78,000 worth of methamphetamine was found at the residence, along with almost $2,300 in cash.

Before this arrest, a local meth lab blew up and destroyed most of the building it was in.

From talking with a few people around town, these recent incidents are not much of a surprise because stuff like this happens in small towns just like in big cities. No matter how nice and kind the residents are, there’s always some wicked problem in the community that takes away from the best aspects of the town.

I never expected that a town that I came to associate as a place to call home would have such an issue going on behind closed doors. It’s not something that you hear a lot about in town, and it only seems to be those people who stay far enough away in the woods that practice the act of making meth.

It all comes back to the fact that people want to make money so they find something as easy as making meth as a get rich quick scheme. TV shows like Breaking Bad make it seem like meth isn’t as hard to make as we all think and that most ingredients can be easily obtained.

“In order to detour that, we don’t sell any Sudafed products,” says Brandon Boswell, pharmacist at Collinsville Drugs.

Not only that, but a lot of people don’t just start off making and using meth. There’s usually a gateway drug that leads them to the bigger and more dangerous drugs. Prescription drug abuse is one of those gateways.

 “The ones that abuse it ruin it for the ones that need it,” says Boswell. “The DEA really cracks down on everyone.”

Doctors and pharmacies are the final step in stopping someone from abusing prescription drugs.  If they don’t realize what a patient is doing with it, then they are the ones that get in trouble.

Most people don’t know they are addicted to their prescription medication until it’s too late and they become dependent on it.

As Boswell says, “You’re always one step away from a bad decision.” These decisions that some make with meth and prescription drugs do nothing but make them stand out from the rest of the town.

Collinsville suffers from the same problems that other towns and cities do. Certainly, it’s hard to stop such issues and eradicate them for good in any place. The key is to not tolerating the use and sell of any illegal drugs and to pull together as a family.

Last Updated: June 25, 2015