Interest in Obama's plan to fight opioid abuse

Posted at 8:36 PM, Mar 29, 2016

Members of the Martin County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit look on with interest Tuesday afternoon as President Barack Obama unveils his plan to fight opioid abuse.

"This is a non-partisan issue.  It's an epidemic that's affected so many families in America today," said Sheriff William Snyder.

There were 18 overdose deaths in Martin County in 2015.

In one bust last summer, the Sheriff's office made 26 arrests and confiscated 700 doses of heroin.

"Pills are getting harder to come by.  The pills are more expensive, so these guys are turning to heroin now," said Detective Jason Pickering.

The president talked about expanding access to substance abuse treatment providers Tuesday.  While local law enforcement is behind that, there are some concerns.

"Our problem that we see is that these drugs also have a street value," said Detective Leonard DeBellis.

Sheriff Snyder hopes the president's plan to get people the help they need will help his office in more ways than one.

"Add into the burden we carry on the mental health front.  That is a disproportionate amount of all of our efforts that we expend at the Sheriff's Office," said Snyder.