Jackson County officials continue to fight against growing opioid problem

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. – The abuse of opioids is not a new problem in Jackson County, but the issue seems to grow more and more each year. “We know as law enforcement officials that a lot of the other crimes stem from the drug abuse,” says Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Harnen says they find opioids regularly during search warrants, but it’s difficult to build cases around them because they’re prescribed. “If you have a prescription for oxycodone, you have permission to have oxycodone. We have to prove that you illegally have it, or sell it.”

Even with the legal use of the drug, it can be dangerous. “They abuse them for years and they get hooked on them where they have to have them.”

The Jackson County Sheriff’s office says they speak on the dangers of opioids to local students every year. “For years its been methamphetamine education, but over the last two years it’s been on the dangers of the opioids.”

He says he hopes exposing kids to these talks at a young age will help lessen the number that abuses the drug in the future.