Tactics evolve in battle against opioid abuse
Read more of journalist Randy Rieland’s research into the local response and how it is helping break the cycle . . .
Law enforcement agencies in the region are taking on a larger role in teaching their communities about a crisis that few saw coming, and with a focus more nuanced than it would have been 10 years ago.
“We try to teach it’s a brain chemistry issue,” Fauquier sheriff’s Capt. Ray Acors said. “It’s not that someone’s a bad person. Their bad behavior comes out of their addiction. It’s a Jekyll and Hyde drug.”
Chief Chris Jenkins of Culpeper thinks addiction prevention doesn’t get the attention it merits. He has both professional and deeply personal reasons for feeling that way. Five years ago, his 26-year-old son, Jordan, who had become addicted to prescription medications, committed suicide. “I actually think prevention is as important as law enforcement now,” he said. “And it’s the part people kinda forget about.”
Mr. Jenkins said a complicating factor is that it’s usually up to local communities to develop their own prevention programs.
“Look, we already have our hands full for the next 10 to 15 years dealing with what’s happened. If we don’t focus on addiction prevention now, we’re going to get another whole segment of our community dealing with it.”
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