Sarasota Sheriff encourages dept. to educate drug users as more potent drugs hit Bay area streets

One overdose per day in Sarasota Co.
Posted at 7:27 PM, Apr 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 19:27:15-04

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office performed a drug enforcement campaign during the month of March. Sheriff Tom Knight reported twenty-eight arrests during the month. He said they targeted a combination of users and dealers.

"Residents have complained of drug users and dealers in the community invading their neighborhoods, we used enforcement to put these people here behind bars," said Knight.

But Knight said enforcement alone wouldn't solve the problem. He said his deputies now counsel family members when they arrive on a drug call.

"This is a social issue that we will not arrest our away out of right now the community has to take ownership of this epidemic that we are dealing with," said Knight.

The county has seen a recent spike in overdoses. There were thirty-two overdose calls in the month of March.

Gerri Stanhope's son died from drug usage in 2014. She believes it's smart for law enforcement to offer counseling.

"There's not enough treatment facilities because most of the people who have addiction don't have money," said Stanhope.

She belongs to a support group for drug users and their families.  Click here to learn more information about the group.