You Cannot Put Handcuffs on Addiction


Caytlin Pendleton, Managing Editor

For the past year, Unified Police Department, has been trying to get drugs off the street. In all the counties through Unified Police Department there was 1,278 Drug related cases and 379 drug related arrests from July 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.
Due to the police department’s attention to the opioid crisis, and the social awareness towards opioids, pain killers, and prescription pills, the addiction crisis has been minimized by the community’s diligent focus on drug addiction. Due to awareness to addiction and drug abuse correlations between legal and illegal substances.
Brian Lohrke is the Kearns Precinct Chief and has helped minimize drug problem in Kearns. “The Kearns area is pretty reflective of what we are experiencing in the valley. The drug and addiction problem doesn’t seek out a certain community, it affects everybody no matter their economic and social status,” Lohrke stated. “Marijuana is one of those drugs that is more ‘socially acceptable’ but is also abused in the Utah legal system to a certainstatus. The other drugs that we see that obviously cause more harm are heroin, cocaine, and  methamphetamine,” explained Lohrke.
Many people know of someone that is dealing with addiction. “The one thing we want people to be wary of is that their safety comes first. So, they can always call our police department and remain anonymous if somebody you know is selling drugs,” Lohrke stated. If a family member is using drugs their family will want to find help for them and the police department can help with that as well.
The people that the police department is trying to get off the streets are the suppliers and dealers. They want to remove that aspect completely and are dedicated to finding out who the dealers and suppliers are, arrest, and prosecute them.  Families are the most effective, other than the person directly addicted to the drug. Families do not want to see their addicted family member go down a path of self-destruction and possible death.
Family will do anything to help their loved ones, such as rehab. Unfortunately, rehab is not cheap, so it puts a huge financial burden on the family. Rehab facilities provide necessary help to people who are addicted.  “There is a huge burden to having a family  member addicted to drugs and we want to make  sure that there is help out there. It has to be financially reasonable to these family members and the persons afflicted by addiction,” explained chief Lohrke.