After a drug dealer who allegedly sold heroin to undercover law enforcement officers was taken down in East Baton Rouge, a local sheriff says the demand for heroin in the area has increased.
Says Sheriff Sid Gautreaux of East Baton Rouge: “I also feel like the reduction in sentencing for heroin distributors, those that sell it, I think that kind of opened the door a little bit for them to say I can go back to selling heroin now because I’m not faced with a life sentence or whatever.”
Some local experts say that though the number of overdose deaths caused by heroin has decreased slightly in Baton Rouge in 2016, the number of dealers selling dope to those who are struggling with addiction has increased in the area. According to them, it is too much money to pass up, and even the risk of arrest or death is not a deterrent for many dealers. But their crimes are not all drug-related. Some commit home invasions. Most break weapons laws. Assault is common as well – amongst drug dealers, by drug dealers on customers, and by drug dealers on law enforcement as well.
Says Sheriff Gautreaux: “I mean they are pulling triggers on each other and pulling triggers on law enforcement and it’s very scary.”
This makes East Baton Rouge a dangerous place to be for people who are struggling with addiction, their families, and the community at large. The question as we head into 2017 is: How can we heal together?
However, not everyone was convinced that the bust was a good thing. Some local residents and community leaders speculated that the arrest of the drug trafficking organization's leaders may have led to a power vacuum that allowed other drug dealers to step in and take their place.
In an interview with The Advocate, council member Tara Wicker expressed her concern that the bust may have led to unintended consequences:
"I hope that the sheriff's office has a plan in place to ensure that this bust doesn't lead to even more drugs on our streets. We don't want to see new players step in and fill the void left by the people who were arrested."
The Role of Law Enforcement Agencies in Preventing Drug Trafficking
Drug trafficking is a serious problem in many communities across the country, and law enforcement agencies play a critical role in preventing it. These agencies are responsible for investigating drug trafficking organizations and arresting those who are involved in illegal drug activities.
In addition to making arrests, law enforcement agencies also work to disrupt the supply chain of illegal drugs. This can involve seizing drugs as they enter the country, monitoring known drug trafficking routes, and working with other law enforcement agencies to share information and resources.
Preventing drug trafficking is not an easy task, and law enforcement agencies often face many challenges along the way. One of the biggest challenges is staying ahead of drug traffickers who are constantly adapting their strategies to avoid detection.
Despite these challenges, law enforcement agencies remain committed to preventing drug trafficking and keeping our communities safe. Through their hard work and dedication, they continue to make progress in the fight against illegal drugs.
The Evolving Tactics of Drug Dealers
Drug dealers are known to be incredibly adaptable and are always finding new ways to get their products onto the street. They frequently switch up their tactics and strategies in order to avoid detection from law enforcement.
One tactic that has become increasingly common in recent years is the use of dark web marketplaces. These online marketplaces can be accessed through special software, and allow drug dealers to sell their products anonymously. This makes it much harder for law enforcement agencies to track down the people responsible for selling illegal drugs.
Another tactic that drug dealers use is hiding drugs in everyday objects. For example, they may hide drugs inside stuffed animals or even food items like candy bars or bags of chips. This makes it more difficult for law enforcement officers who are searching for drugs to find them.
Finally, some drug dealers have started using drones to deliver drugs directly to customers. This allows them to avoid traditional transportation methods like cars or motorcycles, which can be easily spotted by police officers.
As drug dealers continue to evolve their tactics, law enforcement agencies must also adapt in order to keep up with them. By staying informed about new trends and technologies in the world of drug trafficking, these agencies can work towards preventing the spread of illegal drugs.
While it is certainly possible that the drug bust could have led to unintended consequences, it is difficult to say for sure without additional information. It is important to keep in mind that drug trafficking organizations are often complex and have multiple layers of leadership.
It is possible that the leaders who were arrested were not the only ones involved in the organization, and that other members were able to step up and take control even before the leaders were arrested.
Additionally, it is important to remember that drug dealers are constantly trying to find new ways to get drugs onto the street, regardless of whether or not there has been a recent bust. As such, it is unlikely that a single drug bust would have a significant impact on the overall availability of drugs in a community.
Increased Use of Naloxone
Walgreens is in the process of making naloxone available in 150 different locations across Louisiana for families facing opiate addiction. No prescription is necessary, and though the individual doses are not necessarily inexpensive, the fact that families have access to the drug is huge. When applied correctly and in time, the drug can reverse an opiate drug overdose, saving the life of the individual. While it is important to note that the drug will not reverse the effects of overdose due to use of non-opiate drugs, increased access to naloxone for family members and first responders will play a large role in 2017 in helping to limit the number of lives lost due to opiates.
Increased Awareness of the Risks Associated with Prescription Painkiller Use
For many people, heroin addiction began with a legitimate prescription for painkillers from a doctor. With little supervision and/or an open-ended prescription for an unnecessarily high dose or just an unnecessary prescription, many people found themselves addicted to their medication by the time the script ran out. As it became clear to the medical community that this was an issue, changes were made in prescribing practices and there was a push to educate prescribing physicians about best practices in pain management.
There has also been a focused effort by the US Drug Enforcement (DEA) to crack down on pain clinics and doctors across the country and in Louisiana who were frivolously prescribing pills without medical need for a profit. For example, one doctor in Metairie was arrested for allegedly trading pills for cash and sex. As prescription practices change in Louisiana, new patients treated for pain will have an easier time avoiding an inadvertent opiate addiction or find a source for maintaining a painkiller addiction.
Increased Family Assistance
Families are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that opiate addiction is a widespread epidemic. A focus on public service announcements about the nature of the disease has let families who are facing the issue know that they are not alone. It has also helped them to learn more about the options in treatment that are available to them and to connect with appropriate treatment services, and it has helped family members to connect with support systems that help them to heal after their experience with a loved one’s addiction.
Breaking through the isolation inherent to addiction and destroying the stigma associated with the disorder can help Louisianans to reach out for the help they need to begin the healing process. The best way to get rid of dangerous drug dealers in Baton Rouge and across the state is to decrease the demand for their product. That means connecting people living with addiction with treatment that allows them to stop using drugs and alcohol altogether.
If someone in your family is struggling with addiction, you can help them find their path forward through treatment. Are you ready to help them take the first step?
The Importance of Community Involvement
While law enforcement agencies play a critical role in preventing drug trafficking, it is important to remember that community involvement is also essential. Communities can take a proactive approach to preventing drug trafficking by working with law enforcement agencies and taking steps to reduce demand for illegal drugs.
One way that communities can help is by reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement. This could include reporting individuals who are selling drugs or conducting other illegal activities in the community. By providing information about these activities, community members can help law enforcement agencies investigate and disrupt drug trafficking organizations.
Another way that communities can help prevent drug trafficking is by reducing demand for illegal drugs. This can involve educating residents about the dangers of drug use and addiction, as well as providing resources for those who may be struggling with addiction.
Community members can also work together to address the root causes of drug use and addiction, such as poverty, lack of education, and mental health issues. By addressing these underlying issues, communities can help to reduce the overall demand for illegal drugs.
Ultimately, preventing drug trafficking requires a collective effort from everyone in the community. By working together with law enforcement agencies and taking proactive steps to reduce demand for illegal drugs, communities can help make their streets safer and healthier for everyone.
In conclusion, while the recent drug bust in Baton Rouge may have raised concerns about unintended consequences, it is difficult to say for sure without additional information. It is important to remember that drug trafficking organizations are complex, and that drug dealers are constantly trying to find new ways to get drugs onto the street.
As always, it is important for law enforcement agencies to continue to work to prevent drug trafficking and keep our communities safe. However, it is also important to consider the potential unintended consequences of these efforts and to work to mitigate them as much as possible.