By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville Police Department and surrounding agencies have seen a major increase in the number of crack cocaine cases being investigated.
“Crack is a drug that was very popular in the 80s and 90s but has been almost non-existent in our area in the past 10 to 15 years,” said Rush. “It is alarming to me that it is making a comeback.”
Within the past year, the amount arrests for crack cocaine in Trussville has doubled when compared to the previous year. Rush said Trussville is not alone in seeing the trend and he believes the nationwide fight against opioids could be a factor.
“Drug trends can be hard to predict but I think that the current fight against the opioid epidemic in recent years has really caused opioids to be less available so another drug has to fill that void,” he said. “It is very similar to when restrictions on ephedrine sales caused a decline in the availability of meth. At that time, we saw a decrease in meth arrests and an increase in heroin arrests. Heroin made its resurgence and filled the void that was left by the absence of meth. Meth labs used to be common in rural areas but most of the meth we are seeing now is brought in from Mexico.”
Rush said factors that impact drug trends include availability, ease of access, cost, criminal penalties, and enforcement.
On July 28, an incident was reported at Petsmart in Trussville Crossings. Employees said they found a syringe filled with a liquid and several paper packets believed to contain narcotics, in the women’s restroom.
The drugs were believed to have been left by a suspect in another incident that happened at Kohl’s. That person was allegedly fleeing from officers and has since been trespassed from both Kohl’s and Petsmart. The drugs were tested and it was discovered that they were crack cocaine and methamphetamine.
Police said this incident is just one of many that show this dangerous trend is a real problem.
“I hope I am wrong but I am really concerned that we are headed towards a crack epidemic similar to the opioid epidemic we have been fighting for years,” said Rush.