Sheriff Gammons talks drugs
by Tilly Dillehay Editor
This year as part of Red Ribbon Week education efforts, we sat down with the Sheriff of Macon County, Mark Gammons, to talk about how the war on drugs is going.
He said that the three main problems in our county are Methamphetamines, prescription drugs, and marijuana.
The top two troublemakers are Xanax and Hydrocodone, said the Sheriff. “I think many people get addicted because of an injury or some type of surgery,” he said. He strongly urged parents to secure access to prescription medication, locking cabinets and keeping things out of sight/reach. “A lot of teens get on drugs because of peer pressure, I think,” said Gammons, “and prescription drugs are easier to get to out of their own medicine cabinets.”
Gammons is working with his jail medication provider and local seniors, as well as local pharmacies, to establish a medication drop off point in the county. This will be a place where people can go once a month or more to get rid of unused medication—no prescription required—and it will be safely disposed of. More information on the drop-off project in future editions.
Gammons said a lot of break-ins, domestic violence, and child displacements in the county are related to drugs. “A lot of break-ins have to do with either finding drugs or getting something to sell for money to buy drugs,” he said.
“We’re still trying to get a hold on meth, but as I’ve reported before, we have to get a hold on Sudafedrine before we can get a hold on meth,” said the Sheriff. Gammons has actively campaigned for state legislation that would make it much harder to get access to Sudafed products. It is currently an over-the-counter drug, and although there are some restrictions in place, Gammons believes it should be put a form that is no longer usable for methamphetamine production.
“I wouldn’t say that meth has risen in Macon County or that it’s lowered,” he commented. “I would say we’re still fighting the same fight.”
“Most marijuana that we’re getting now is indoor grows,” said Gammons. “This year we’ve had several grows, inside of homes. We have also, with the help of the State and their helicopter, discovered some outside grown marijuana from the air. But we’ve noticed a trend that it’s become more of an indoor grow. Not just in Macon County but nationwide.”
Gammons said that at one time in the last few years, he was noticing an awful trend: methamphetamine manufacturers would sometime lace marijuana with meth, so that teens would stumble into meth by way of marijuana. They would try marijuana one time and instantly be affected by one of the most addictive and lethal drugs on the market. Gammons said that lately, he hasn’t seen as much of that particular trick.
Marijuana is still a recognized gateway drug, besides being an illegal substance.
Gammons said that early education is the best way to fight this problem in our county. “We try to educate our kids throughout the year, not just during Red Ribbon Week,” he said.
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