Methamphetamine use on the rise in Bladen County

Methamphetamine use on the rise in Bladen County

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - It’s a drug that is crossing county lines, according to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.

“Our drug trends bounce off of what happens in New Hanover and Brunswick County," said Sgt. Richard Allen with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office. "We seem to follow what they get about a year or two later.”

Allen says the drug of choice on the street is shifting away from heroin and prescription pills to methamphetamines over the past six months. Allen said one reason for the latest spike is the lower chance of overdosing on meth versus a drug like heroin.

“Dealers are now mixing in fentanyl with heroin,” Allen said. “It’s becoming so much more dangerous and addicts like to transition based on what it’s doing to their health. If it’s too dangerous, they will switch to something else to get their high.”

Allen also said meth is cheaper than pills or heroin and something people can make at home by purchasing ingredients from a local hardware store.

“We even work with local businesses and they let us know if they have seen a spike in things such as camp fuel, and batteries” Allen said.

The narcotics division of the sheriff’s office said purchases of Sudafed, a necessary ingredient in meth, have spiked in the county.

“We have a database that gives us an insight on Sudafed purchases at local pharmacies, not just here locally but across the state, so we can zero in and see how it’s fluctuating,” Allen said.

Allen stressed that while a user may not have as much of a chance of overdosing on meth as they would on heroin or pills, the drug is just as dangerous.

“This is a drug made up of sulfuric acid, acetone, camp fuel and batteries and it literally eats your body from the inside out,” he said.

Allen said there are some key things to look for if you suspect a family member or loved one is using meth.

“Their pupils will be very small," Allen said. "Also, they likely get itchy sores all over their body and something called meth mouth that rots their teeth.”

The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office has a new program to help drug addicts free of charge. The office unveiled Substance Abuse Initiative Liaison (SAIL) in January that uses a $50,000 grant to help anyone suffering from drug abuse in getting detox help. Four people have been helped since the first of the year.

Copyright 2019 WECT. All rights reserved.