Our Opinion: Enforcement posts victories in war on drugs

News Tribune editorial

Enforcement is a key component in combating illegal drugs.

Confiscating supplies and arresting distributors resulted from major operations reported recently by area, state and national law enforcement agencies.

The growing use of heroin was the target of a major drug sweep conducted by the MUSTANG Drug Task Force and Jefferson City police.

The second phase of the sweep, reported last week, resulted in 33 arrests, combined with the overall 2012 total of more than 65 arrests.

The drug sweeps also involved the seizure of raw heroin, crack cocaine, packaging materials, drug money and firearms.

The MUSTANG announcement followed a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report targeting synthetic drugs, including bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

The nationwide DEA crackdown resulted in: 91 arrests and the seizure of more than $36 million in cash and five million packets of synthetic drugs.

Those statistics include six arrests and the seizure of more than 210,000 drug packets in the six-state region that includes Missouri.

These operations are necessary because these illegal drugs are killing people.

Calls to poison-control centers related to synthetic drugs rose from 3,200 in 2010 to 13,000 last year, with 60 percent involving people age 25 or younger.

The concept of supply and demand also applies to illegal drug trade. Intercepting illegal drugs and punishing distributors are necessary to diminish the supply of dangerous and deadly drugs. We must, however, be equally conscientious about reducing demand through awareness, education and prevention programs. We also must provide treatment for addicts who have a sincere desire to reverse the downward spiral of their lives. The war on drugs requires us to be vigilant and resolute.

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