Editorial: Threat to our lives, families, safety is not going away
When one considers our communities’ safety, and a threat to our very lives, what comes to mind? COVID-19, right?
While the coronavirus has its challenges, consider that Prescott Valley police have received nine calls for drug overdoses, which included two deaths, since May 21.
Local police, with help from the Partners Against Narcotic Trafficking (PANT) have “made significant arrests” tied to the use and sale of illicit drugs, such as fentanyl. On Wednesday, we reported one of those arrests — a suspected fentanyl dealer with ties to overdoses in the greater Prescott area.
However, “there is still too much availability of these deadly items on our streets and in our communities,” the Prescott Valley Police stated in a news release.
“It’s not out of the norm; it’s ongoing,” Prescott Valley Police spokesperson Jerry Ferguson said regarding drug abuse in town.
Ongoing. That is what we are also hearing about the COVID-19 surge across the state.
Add to that, growing.
And, while both are claiming lives, we do have a responsibility for education and choices to make in how we protect ourselves and our neighbors.
Yes, the police have NARCAN, a narcotic overdose treatment they can administer. However, of the nine overdose calls that Prescott Valley Police responded to, NARCAN was used on five people — four of whom survived.
That means one died.
Like the coronavirus, when a solution exists, it does not always work.
Because of that we believe getting rid of these mimic, street drugs is the answer.
“Drug dealers are always manufacturing pills containing fentanyl to look like legitimate medication,” Ferguson said. “Do not take non-prescribed medication or medicines from unknown sources.”
It is as simple as that, along with “see something, say something.”
In addition to further education opportunities — which should be enacted — other solutions include safely disposing of unused or unneeded prescription medications, law enforcement efforts, and changing the laws targeting the dealers.
In addition, know that the Northern Arizona Crisis Line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week; call them at 877-756-4090 if you need help; report drug use/sales by calling PANT at 928-778-0558; or call Yavapai County Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232 to which you can remain anonymous.
COVID-19 is one ongoing threat, yet opioids — including illicit fentanyl — have been here for a while and continue to ensnare and kill.
What are you prepared to do?