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Letter to the Editor: Grateful for Stone's efforts to stop drug trafficking

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Monday, December 4, 2017

I would like to thank Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone, the members of his department and the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force for all their efforts in removing drugs from our county and the communities of the county.

The members of law enforcement locally, statewide and federally do an excellent job of getting drugs out of our communities. The problem is that the drugs are only removed for a short time. Any drugs that have been removed will be replaced within 72 hours. Any drug dealers who are arrested will be replaced by new dealers.

Drug dealers are not limited to the illicit drug dealers on the streets. Our drug dealers today include many in the medical profession. Even though there are programs in place to spot overuse of drugs by patients, medical professionals are failing to use these programs. There are programs in place to identify the medical professionals who are over-prescribing drugs used for pain suppression, but again, these are not being used.

Removing drugs, dealers and stopping the over-prescribing of pain medication are only part of the problem with our drug crisis. The remainder of the problem are the users.

Currently there seems to be no effective program in place to remove the drug users. To remove drug users the programs must be effective enough to prevent the drug users’ returning to drugs. From what I can find, the current success rate for most drug rehab programs is 30 percent. That means that 70 percent return to using drugs.

What is even greater than the return rate to the use of drugs after completing a program is those who leave the program prior to completion. That rate is 70 to 80 percent.

Again, Sheriff Stone, thank you for all your efforts and thanks to the men and women of your department and the members of the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force. Keep up the good work!

RAY SHAMLIN

Rocky Mount

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