A recent prostitution sting by Huntsville Police has shown how often drugs and prostitution go hand in hand.
But when it comes to tackling the problem, police say they can only do so much.
“What we try to do after that is try to put pressure on them, put them in jail and keep them off of the streets,” said Sergeant Mark Roberts.
The ten men and women arrested in the sting have already bonded out. Police say they’ll probably see some of them again.
Roberts doesn’t think police are anywhere near solving the prostitution problem.
“Just about most of them you either find paraphernalia or some type of drugs on the girls. A large percentage of them use substances,” said Roberts. “That’s how they’re supporting their habit.”
It’s a revolving door, hinged on addiction.
Clete Wetli is a certified addictions professional, and counsels those suffering with substance abuse.
“What we end up doing is criminalizing addiction, criminalizing a disease and expecting people to go back out and simply change, when often times they aren’t capable of that change without help,” explained Wetli.
Once released from jail, it’s all too easy for the drug addicted to turn to drastic means to get their fix.
To really keep neighborhoods free of sex solicitors and rampant drugs, Wetli says it goes beyond just law enforcement.
“There has to be a mechanism for rehabilitation. And when we treat people and rehabilitate them, often times it’s successful.”
Some centers that do treat substance abuse are the New Horizons Recovery Center and The Pathfinder, Inc.