It’s the kind of record you don’t want to see set. Recently, the St. Clair County Drug Task Force reported that they had seized a record amount of methamphetamine within the county’s limits in 2021. Two of those seizures and related arrests occurred in the village of Capac and Lynn Township.

It’s unfortunate to see that such extremely potent drugs have a presence in the local community. For many years, the entire nation, including Lapeer and St. Clair counties, struggled with opioid addiction crisis and although the problem still remains, strides have been made to save lives with the availability of drugs like naloxone and eliminate the stigma surrounding drug addiction.

Sadly, drug overdose deaths remain high. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 100,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2021—that’s more than vehicle crashes and gun deaths combined. There’s been a dramatic rise in deaths in the past two years and experts believe that more people turned to drugs during the pandemic and many treatment centers and services closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Statistics from the federal government also show that deaths from stimulants, like cocaine and meth, have also increased. Experts who study the issue note that historically stimulant epidemics follow opioid crises.

As Sheriff Mat King noted with the release of the map, taking drugs and weapons off the streets helps keep the region a safer place to visit, live and raise a family. One can also assume it helps saves lives too by preventing overdoses. A recently released report commissioned by the federal government revealed that drug overdose deaths cost the U.S. $1 trillion dollars per year in health expenses, reduced productivity, plus other losses.

We’re grateful to those who are working to help all those struggling with addiction and those who strive to keep our communities safe.

Let’s hope that some impressively low illicit drug statistics are in our near future.