Local officials address growing problem of drug abuse, addiction

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Photo by Linda Gallagher

During last week’s public forum on illegal drug use in the area, Sheriff Dan Bean said that the Antrim County Jail has become a "treatment center" for drug addicts. 


CENTRAL LAKE – During a highly informative and interesting public forum held last Thursday, Feb. 15, Antrim County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Rossiter, Sheriff Dan Bean, and two members of the Traverse Narcotics Team task force stressed the continuing – and worsening – problem with illegal narcotic drugs and drug addiction in Antrim County.

The law enforcement officials, as well as two pharmacists from the Bellaire Family Health Center, spoke to a crowd of approximately 60 people during the two-hour program coordinated by Antrim County Commissioner Melissa Zelenak.

"Twenty years ago, it was a rare thing to have to deal with someone addicted to illegal narcotic drugs like heroin in Antrim County," said Rossiter during the event held in the Central Lake High School cafeteria. "Now, it's commonplace, and something I do almost every day."

"My jail is now a treatment center, more days than not," agreed Bean. "(It’s) a place where addicts end up after getting caught committing crimes to fund their addiction."

Both said the significant increase in the addiction problem is believed to have begun with the widespread prescription of opiate drugs by medical professionals.

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Bellaire, MI 49615
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